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On Saturday President Donald Trump signed executive orders and memorandums to halt residential evictions, provide $400 weekly enhanced unemployment benefits, defer payroll taxes, and extend student-loan relief until the end of the year.
This came after unfruitful negotiations between Democratic and Republican leaders on Friday for a broad stimulus bill, which would have included a second round of stimulus checks and enhanced unemployment benefits to help Americans cope with the pandemic.
But on Monday Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin appeared on CNBC and told viewers that the White House is still open to a stimulus bill that includes stimulus checks, another round of forgivable PPP loans, and money for schools and hospitals.
“We’re prepared to put more money on the table,” Mnuchin said Monday on CNBC. “Again, if we can get a fair deal we’re willing to do it this week.”
What’s holding up the $1,200 stimulus checks—which both parties support—and a broader stimulus bill? Simply put: Democrats haven’t come down enough in their asking price for the stimulus bill, and Republicans haven’t come up enough.
“It was a disappointing meeting. We reiterated in very strong terms our offer: We come down $1 trillion from our top number, which was $3.4 trillion, and they go up $1 trillion from their top number, which was $1 trillion. And that way we could begin to meet in the middle,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters Friday.
After Mnuchin declined the Democrat’s compromise on Friday, he told reporters that the President should sign executive orders to bypass Congress on issues like enhanced unemployment benefits. Trump announced later Friday he’d do just that, and on Saturday he signed the memorandums and executive orders.
Democratic leaders have yet to provide an update Monday on where they stand on stimulus negotiations.