Negotiations for a second stimulus check are continuing even as President Donald Trump tries to push some economic relief measures through in an executive order. On Monday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin appeared on CNBC, confirming that he hopes to reach a deal on the stimulus package this week. Unlike Trump's executive order, this deal will likely include another stimulus check worth up to $1,200.
Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows have been negotiating on behalf of the Trump administration with the United States Senate and the U.S. Congress as they debate a new stimulus package, according to a report by Forbes. The proposals include various economic stimulus programs, some of which would overlap with the measures included in Trump's executive order on Saturday. However, Trump is not authorized to issue a stimulus check by executive order, and the legislative branch is still working on that process on their own. "If we can get a fair deal, we're willing to do it this week," Mnuchin said on Monday.
Trump's executive order attempted to temporarily extend, renew or introduce economic relief measures that he believes will help the U.S. economy stay afloat amid the coronavirus pandemic. That includes the emergency unemployment benefit, which expired on July 31. Trump's order would reintroduce that aid, dropping it from $600 per week to $400, and it would only be given to states that are willing and able to pay 25 percent of that money themselves. The rest of it would come from a fund usually reserved for FEMA during disaster relief efforts — a controversial move with questionable legality, some pundits say.
Trump has been accused of over-extending his authority when it comes to executive orders throughout his presidency so far. Even so, he cannot authorize the kind of funding needed to produce a stimulus check like the one Americans received in April. The CARES Act was a record-breaking piece of legislation for its massive $2.2 trillion price tag. Even Republicans' new HEALS Act proposal — with its $1 trillion price limit — would be larger than any stimulus package passed in American history.
Despite their disagreements, many analysts now say that all elected officials, regardless of their party or their place in the U.S. government, want to see a stimulus check pass. If nothing else, impeding such aid would damage their chances of re-election. Negotiations continue this week, with both legislative houses facing strict deadlines.