Americans still waiting on a deal including coronavirus stimulus checks will have to keep waiting, although there has been a miniscule bit of progress. The key issue for Democrats is that the White House won’t agree to a blank check for $2 trillion.
On the other hand, the White House refuses to agree to that blank check because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi won't say what provisions are included in it.
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The finger pointing continued over the weekend as the White House and Pelosi attempted to shift all the blame to the other side. While there was a bit of progress over the weekend, for any real deal containing coronavirus stimulus checks and other provisions to happen, one side will have to come to the rescue.
Either Pelosi will have to name the provisions she wants to see in a $2 trillion package, or the White House will have to agree to a blank check for that amount. Pelosi's hesitation makes it seem like she wants to force through some of her pet projects that have nothing to do with the coronavirus.
That could be why the White House won't agree to a blank check for $2 trillion. But if there is going to be a deal on coronavirus stimulus checks and other provisions, one side will have cave to the other's demands.
What progress was made?
Despite the lack of a big step on a coronavirus relief package, both sides are making baby steps. The Democrats started with a $3.4 trillion package, which they passed in May. On the other hand, Republicans started more recently with the $1 trillion HEALS Act.
Early this month, Pelosi offered to reduce her proposal for a coronavirus relief package by $1 trillion, bringing it to $2.4 trillion. The White House refused to agree to a blank check for that amount, although they did offer compromises on specific provisions, like funds for the U.S. Postal Service, aid for state and local governments, and enhanced unemployment benefits.
Democrats refused to work on individual provisions without a blank check for $2.4 trillion. However, last week, Pelosi agreed to come down a bit further to $2.2 trillion. The White House once again refused to agree to a blank check for that amount.
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows did come up a bit on the White House's offer though, raising it to $1.3 trillion.
The one provision both sides have agreed on is a second round of coronavirus stimulus checks, but Democrats' refusal to accept a piecemeal approach has meant that no deal can be reached. The two sides remain nearly as far apart as ever.
However, if Democrats keep shaving $100 billion here or there off, while the White House keeps raising by $100 billon, a deal on coronavirus stimulus checks and other provisions could be reached by October.