President Trump supports $1,200 payment, said Steve Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury.
There is still hope that Americans will receive a second stimulus check in late September but the White House and Democrats need to close their differences on the $1 trillion budget bill.
On August 20, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke for the first time since talks on a new coronavirus aid package stalled on August 7. Both parties know that a comprehensive project agreement is needed and Pelosi is adamant that there is still a $900 billion difference in project costs on both sides.
Democrats are willing to drop to $2.2 billion, a $1.2 billion decrease from the estimated cost of the Emergency Health Care Solutions and Economic Recovery Act, the HEROES Act that passed the House of Representatives in May.
While President Donald Trump is willing to raise the estimated cost of the Health, Financial Assistance, Accountability Protection and Schools Act, known as the HEALS Act, Meadows told reporters last Friday that the president is seeking to sign a bill with a budget of at least $1.3 billion.
According to Pelosi a package that costs less than $2.2 billion “will not be enough to meet the needs of American workers and families,” in addition to sending children back to school safely and successfully conducting more tests of COVID-19. Pelosi has urged Republicans to “come to the table and accept our lowest offer” in the interest of saving “the lives and livelihoods of the American people.
While the Republicans have the majority in the Senate and the Democrats maintain control in the House of Representatives, it means that both parties have to work together to pass new legislation. One of the few items on the agenda that Democrats and the White House agree on is stimulus control.
“The President supports exactly the same amount of money that was given during the first round of checks. There are some minor changes to allow more people to receive it … and in discussions with the Democrats they have agreed to that concept,” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told reporters Aug. 1, as reported by the New York Times.
If the White House and Democrats can reach an agreement that includes a new round of stimulus checks, and if the House and Senate approve a package that Trump can sign, people could receive payments “very, very quickly,” Mnuchin said.
Republican and Democratic leaders face pressure from their party members to reach a deal, and a deal may be reached in September. However, a vote in the Senate is not likely to occur until after Labor Day, when Senators return from their August recess.
According to the deadline given by the Secretary of the Treasury to the House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, the package would have to be finalized, approved and signed by the President by September 21 so that any citizen can see a payment by October 1.