The unofficial deadline for the next coronavirus stimulus checks is fast approaching. After August 7, the lawmakers are scheduled to go on a month-long break. Yet, both Democrats and Republicans are far apart on the final stimulus package. Both sides are still blaming the other side for the delay on coronavirus stimulus checks and package.
Coronavirus stimulus checks: what’s causing the delay?
Despite the negotiations last week, we still don’t have a consensus on the next stimulus package. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, on Sunday, suggested that the White House and Democrats are far apart on a final deal.
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Referring to President Donald Trump, she said that he’s the “one who is standing in the way of that.”
"We have been for the $600, they have a $200 proposal, which does not meet the needs of America's working families,” Pelosi told ABC "This Week" Co-anchor Martha Raddatz.
Later, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin turned down Pelosi’s claim that Republicans are to blame for the delay in stimulus checks. Mnuchin told Raddatz that he and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows would be present "every day until we reach an agreement."
Mnuchin, however, stated that the two sides agree on sending $1,200 in stimulus checks to eligible Americans.
Talking about the differences over the federal unemployment benefit, Mnuchin said “We have to balance." Though he agreed that there is a need to support the workers and economy, he noted that “we have to be careful about not piling on enormous amounts of debt.”
Differences over $600 federal unemployment benefit
Democrats want $600 in federal unemployment benefits, while Senate Republicans have proposed $200 in unemployment insurance in the HEALS Act. All Democrats and some Republicans oppose the $200 in unemployment benefits.
Republicans’ concern is that paying more in unemployment benefits could discourage people from going back to work. "There are cases where people are overpaid," Mnuchin said.
When Raddatz cited a recent Yale study that found no relationship between the unemployment benefit and people not returning to work, Mnuchin said he didn't agree with the findings of the study.
“There’s a Chicago study that goes through all the people that are overpaid,” he said.
Mnuchin also pushed back against Pelosi's claim that Republicans don’t want to stop the coronavirus. He said that he was “surprised” at Pelosi's comments that “we don't agree on the need to kill the virus."
"We absolutely agree on the need to kill the virus," Mnuchin said.
Pelosi’s comments on Sunday were in contrast to what she said on Saturday, when she talked about progress in the negotiations. On Saturday, Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer had a meeting with Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.
After the meeting, Pelosi told reporters that it was "productive" but "no agreement can be reached yet."