The hopes of another round of stimulus checks vanished after negotiators failed to reach any deal again on Thursday before the Senate went on recess. However, President Donald Trump reignited those hopes by saying he is “ready” to send coronavirus stimulus checks and that he has directed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to prepare the direct payments.
President ready to send coronavirus stimulus checks
In a series of tweets on Friday, President Trump extended support for stimulus checks and blamed Democrats for holding up payments to American families. Further, the President said he had directed Mnuchin to make preparations for sending more coronavirus stimulus checks.
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"I have directed @stevenmnuchin1 to get ready to send direct payments ($3,400 for family of four) to all Americans," Trump said in a tweet. "DEMOCRATS ARE HOLDING THIS UP!"
Trump talked about sending $3,400 in stimulus checks to a family of four. This means $1,200 each for two individuals and $500 each for two dependents, similar to the CARES Act and HEALS Act.
During a White House press briefing, Trump made it clear that he does not intend to act on the stimulus checks unilaterally.
"I’m waiting for the Democrats to approve it," Trump said.
This is not the first time Trump has criticized Democrats for holding up the talks. On Thursday, he told Fox Business that the negotiations failed because of Democrats' insistence on funds for mail-in voting.
“They want $3.5 billion for something that will turn out to be fraudulent, that’s election money basically,” Trump said.
Other things that Trump agrees to
In addition to the coronavirus stimulus checks, President Trump said he is also ready to send more funds to small businesses and more aid to state and local governments.
“I am ready to send more money to States and Local governments to save jobs for Police, Fire Fighters, First Responders, and Teachers. DEMOCRATS ARE HOLDING THIS UP!” Trump said in a tweet.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 14, 2020
Aid to states and local government is one of the biggest sticking points between the two sides. Another major sticking point between them is the cost of the overall stimulus package.
The Democrat-backed HEROES Act costs about $3 trillion, but the Senate’s HEALS Act is worth about $1 trillion. Pelosi has made an offer to compromise at $2 trillion, but it was rejected by the Trump administration.
Now that the president has openly said that he is ready to send coronavirus stimulus checks and aid to states and local government, it will be interesting to hear Democrats’ response.
Neither the Senate nor the House is in session now. The Senate is scheduled to come back next month after Labor Day, while the House is not slated to return until the second week of September.