The Democrats have been unwilling to strike a deal with Republicans on the next coronavirus stimulus relief package. However, Republicans seem to be more focused on getting something done for the American people because they’re willing to work with Democrats despite their misgivings on what Democrats want to see in the next bill. That’s good news for those holding out hope for a second round of coronavirus stimulus checks.
White House, Dems working on the next stimulus relief package
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has previously said that he believed if he wrote the next stimulus relief package, most Republicans would support it. He also said the next bill would be written in the Senate rather than the House of Representatives.
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However, the next coronavirus stimulus relief package is actually being written by the White House and leading Democrats. White House officials have said they expect a deal by Friday. In fact, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told Republicans at a lunch on Wednesday that if there is no deal by Friday, they could stop the negotiations.
Despite that statement made during a close-door meeting, Meadows told USA Today that Friday is not a "drop dead date" for an agreement. He said he had "become extremely doubtful" that they would be able to reach an agreement if the talks go "well beyond Friday."
McConnell steers clear of the talks
The Hill reports that McConnell has avoided the negotiations over the next stimulus relief package because they have been so divisive for Republicans. Despite the fact that he has stayed away from the talks, McConnell told CNBC that is prepared to vote in agreement with the package that's being put together by the White House and Democrats — even if he doesn't agree with all of it.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have both said repeatedly that they've been making progress on the next stimulus package. However, Meadows told reporters on Wednesday that the White House and Democrats "continue to be trillions of dollars apart."
While on the Senate floor, McConnell accused Democrats of not being willing to negotiate. He said that while the American people struggle, "Democratic leaders have moved about one inch in eight days."
The only place Republicans and Democrats seem to agree is on the issue of coronavirus stimulus checks. Both sides have agreed to send a second round of $1,200 coronavirus stimulus checks to Americans earning up to $75,000 a year, with the amount phasing out after that and ending at $99,000.
Unemployment remains a sticking point, although Republicans appear ready to agree to extend the extra $600 in weekly benefits despite the soaring federal debt and the fact that it causes most people to be paid more on unemployment than they received on the job.
Trump mulls executive order for next stimulus relief package
While talks about the next stimulus relief package drag on, President Donald Trump has been considering making an executive order if there is no deal with Democrats. Sources told Fox Business that Trump is thinking about an executive order that would send more coronavirus stimulus checks, extend the federal unemployment benefits and eviction moratorium, and suspend the payroll tax.
It's unclear whether the president has the constitutional right to make such an order. However, sources told Fox Business that he may be using the executive order as a bargaining chip to force Democrats to the negotiating table and bring about an agreement.
Republicans are increasingly worried about the federal debt, which will weigh on the next two generations of Americans at least. However, they have been left out of the negotiations as the White House deals with Democrats.
The proposal will require some GOP support, and McConnell's willingness to accept whatever deal the White House and Democrats hammer out could mean that other Republicans will do the same.