In an effort to restart second stimulus check talks, the White House and Trump administration have reached out to the Democrats on the coronavirus relief package negotiations. According to the NY Times, Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin spoke with Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday, with the two discussing the stimulus bill plans. The pair, along with Trump Administration Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, had been engaged in relief bill talks, hoping to come to an agreement but the talks stalled when the two sides could not come to an agreement.
A big part of the problem is the bill price tag, with the Democrats being firm about their number for the sake of getting support behind it. "The House doesn't have the votes to go south of $2 trillion, the Senate Democrats can't go south of 2 trillion, so that's what compromise is all about," Schumer explained in a previous statement. "Because there are 20 Republicans who don't want to vote anything that doesn't mean the whole thing should shift in their direction. You have to meet in the middle."
In a joint statement, Pelosi and Schumer stated: "It is clear that the administration still does not grasp the magnitude of the problems that American families are facing. [...] We have again made clear to the administration that we are willing to resume negotiations once they start to take this process seriously."
"Let's meet in the middle, we've said all of that," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. "But until they're ready to do that, it's no use sitting in a room and let them tell us that states should go bankrupt." https://t.co/K5UeseCtF5— CNN (@CNN) August 12, 2020
Following the negotiation breakdown, Mnuchin and Meadows announced that they would be recommending to President Trump that he sign executive orders on a few key relief bill issues, such as federal unemployment benefits extension, student loan payments, and eviction moratorium. "We're going to take executive orders to try to alleviate some of the pain that people are experiencing," said Meadows. "This is not a perfect answer. We'll be the first ones to say that, but it is all that we can do and all the President can do within the confines of his executive power and we're going to encourage him to do it."
Notably, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that he will support whatever plan the White House and the Democrats eventually hammer out. "Wherever this thing settles between the president of the United States and his team, that have to sign it into law, and the Democrat not insignificant minority in the Senate and majority in the House, is something I'm prepared to support even if I have some problems with certain parts of it," McConnell said. There is no word on when the talks will officially resume, seeing as Meadows reportedly took the week off from the White House, but there has been speculation that the negotiations could end up continuing into September.