Stimulus Check Negotiations on Pause Due to White House Chief of Staff Taking the Week Off

The current negotiations behind a proposed second stimulus package have stalled as of Friday. While there have been both calls from both sides of the aisle urging them to resume, along with a willingness from those involved, it turns out vacation time might have played a role.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows was representing President Donald Trump along with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. However, Meadows is currently on leave, which means that nothing will resume as far as this week. Reporter Catherine Rampell posted about the incident on Twitter. She noted that those in the Trump administrations aren't as concerned over the resuming, as they feel that the recently-signed executive order gives them a political advantage.

Rampell also noted that "the fate of 30m unemployed Americans is on hold because Meadows" and that it's "also crazy that the White House thinks these executive actions do much at all, economically or politically." She also noted that "Governors have already said Trump's exec action requiring creation of an entirely new UI system is administratively unworkable, and that they need actual relief legislated by Congress."

On Wednesday, Meadows told reporters that he was "extremely doubtful" that any progress would be made before Friday, which was the day also marks the beginning of a Congressional recess. Meadows had previously said that the two sides were still far away from a deal but made some progress at a meeting in late July. One of the major sticking points for Democrats is the $600 weekly unemployment benefits, which the GOP-led HEALS Act would cut significantly. As would Trump's executive order.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced on Monday that the House of Representatives will not vote on any measure until Sept. 14 and issued a statement about the decision. "Over the past two months, the House has taken extraordinary action on a range of issues important to the American people," the statement read. "Unfortunately, while it has been nearly three months since the House passed the Heroes Act to provide assistance to families, increase testing and tracing, and help state and local governments keep teachers, first responders, and other essential workers on the job, Republicans have refused to act."