The possibility of another coronavirus stimulus relief package and a second round of checks is still up in the air. Lawmakers and the White House seem uninterested in striking a deal, although both sides claim to want an agreement.
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Negotiators who have been involved in the talks on the next coronavirus stimulus package have publicly expressed an interest in continuing the talks, which renewed hopes for more checks. However, there haven't been any news reports about the talks continuing, which suggests that they aren't.
The Senate and House of Representatives are both on their month-long August recess. That means there probably won't be any movement on another coronavirus stimulus package and more checks despite comments from both sides claiming they are willing to continue the negotiations.
It is an election year, so one would think that both sides would want to give the economy a boost to show voters that they will work for them. However, Democrats may be politically motivated to block any attempt at a deal because it could derail President Donald Trump's hopes for reelection.
However, that could backfire on Democrats as well when voters go to the polls in November.
Executive orders attempt to do what Congress didn't
Trump has been trying to do what he can for the American people, although the executive orders he has issued have been called into question. Critics question the legality of those orders and how they will be executed.
No executive order can replace another coronavirus stimulus package, and not just because the president doesn't have the authority to issue more checks. He doesn't have the authority to put any real punch behind his orders because that power is restricted to Congress.
For example, his order for a payroll tax cut didn't actually cut taxes. It allows businesses to hold up on collecting and paying payroll taxes, but they will still be due next April unless Congress chooses to forgive those taxes. Neither Democrats nor Republicans support a payroll tax cut, so that's unlikely.
His order for an eviction moratorium also comes up short. It simply requests some government agencies to try to do something about evictions, but it doesn't actually extend the order that was put in place with the CARES Act earlier this year.
Trump is now considering an executive order to cut capital gains taxes, but according to Bloomberg, some conservatives believe he is overstepping his authority and could wind up in court. The move also heavily favors the wealthy, which won't look good come November.
These are the issues preventing a deal
Republicans and Democrats agree that a second round of checks should be included in the next coronavirus stimulus package. They disagree about pretty much everything else, although two key issues are the biggest obstacles to a deal.
The first topic of debate has been an extension of the extra $600 in weekly unemployment benefits that was instituted as part of the CARES Act in March. The extra money expired at the end of July. Democrats want to extend the full amount, but Republicans want to reduce the extra amount so people don't keep getting paid more on unemployment than they do on the job.
The other big barrier that has emerged in talks about the next coronavirus stimulus package and a second round of checks is aid for state and local governments. Republicans are open to aid for falling tax revenues and coronavirus-related expenses.
However, Democrats want to bail out Democrat-run states that have been poorly managing their budgets for years. The GOP's HEALS Act includes no aid for state and local governments, although many of them are having to lay off or furlough workers due to plunging tax revenues caused by the lockdowns.