Vice President Mike Pence confirmed in an interview with CNBC September 4 that Trump wants to continue stimulus packages and that Congress and that the White House had reached a deal to at least temporarily avoid a government shutdown.
Pence also said that Trump is ready to send checks to more Americans, despite the impasse that negotiators have been experiencing for several weeks.
Pence Said Trump Realizes Americans Want More Payments
According to CNBC, Pence said, “Nobody wants to give direct payments to American families more than President Donald Trump … It helped people through this tough time.”
Trump has given varying signals over what he wants in a stimulus package. In one tweet, Trump said that he wants to send direct payments of $3,400 for a family of four. However, he never issued an executive order to send stimulus checks to Americans.
On Friday, September 4, the New York Post reported that Trump wants to take the $300 billion from the coronavirus pandemic relief fund and use it to fund stimulus checks. “We have $300 billion ready to go, all Congress has to do is say, ‘Use it.’ I’d like to use it without their permission but I guess I’m not allowed,” Trump said. “We’re willing to spend it, I’d like to get approval from Congress. There’s a theory that I don’t have to do that, but I’d rather be upfront and I’d like to get approval from Congress.”
According to Forbes, Democrats want to send every family $1,200 per dependent versus what Republicans want to do, which is send every family $500 per dependent.
The principal negotiators of a stimulus package, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, White House Chief of Staff and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, have all experienced varying degrees of success on reaching a deal on stimulus checks.
Pence Said the White House & Congress Have Agreed to Avoid a Shutdown — for Now
According to Axios, Pence said, “The agreement reached this week by the treasury secretary and our negotiation team to have a continuing resolution to continue to fund the government when the fiscal year runs out at the end of this month means that now we can focus just on another relief bill.”
Government shutdowns occur when the federal budget for the next fiscal year fails to be approved by a set date and all nonessential government functions are halted.
The deal was apparently made during a 36-minute call held September 1 where they “agreed that they want to avoid a shutdown and would seek a ‘clean’ stopgap funding plan free of extraneous measures, according to a source briefed on the call,” CNN reported.
The Associated Press first reported that Pelosi and Mnuchin reached a measure to avoid a government shutdown at the end of September; however the duration of how long the measure will last and other details, however, were not released. The Associated Press reported that Pelosi’s spokesman, Drew Hammill, said, “House Democrats are for a clean continuing resolution” while Mnuchin’s office declined to comment.