President Donald Trump said Wednesday that while aid from the previous stimulus bill runs out, Republicans and Democrats aren't close to a resolution on the next coronavirus stimulus package, and that Congress may need to pass measures to prevent aid from running out. Trump told reporters at the White House before leaving on a trip to Texas, "We ought to work on the evictions so that people don’t get evicted, to work on the payments to the people and the rest of it. We’re so far apart we don’t care."
The final supplemental unemployment payments included in the last stimulus bill run out this week, while federal protections against evictions expired July 25. At the end of August, a moratorium on foreclosures of federally-backed mortgages is also set to expire, but still no progress appears to have been made between the two parties in introducing a new package of protections. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin agreed on the state of Congress, telling reporters the two parties are "very far apart" when it comes to introducing a new proposal, and that lawmakers should prepare to issue a short-term extension on unemployment and eviction protections.
In May, the Democrat-controlled House passed a $3 trillion plan known as the HEROES Act, which the Republican-controlled Senate rejected, which included an extension of $600 increase in unemployment benefits, an additional $1,200 stimulus check and additional funding for testing and contact tracing. The Senate has yet to introduce a proposal for a new coronavirus relief package.
Mnuchin assured Sunday morning that a coronavirus relief bill from Senate Republicans would be released Monday after being pressed on the feet-dragging by Fox News host Chris Wallace. "House Democrats passed their relief bill back in May, fully two months ago but here we are, the last week of July, and the White House and Senate Republicans still can't agree on just a GOP package. ...Won't millions of Americans and millions of businesses pay the price because the White House and Senate Republicans can't get your act together," Wallace asked Mnuchin.
Mnuchin then called Wallace's condemnation an "unfair characterization" of the current state of the GOP coronavirus relief plan. "The administration and the Senate Republicans are completely on the same page," Mnuchin responded. "Mark Meadows and I were up yesterday just working on technical issues in the drafts. We had previously agreed on all these issues earlier in the week. We want to move forward quickly, the bill will be introduced Monday."