Stimulus Checks: Why Walmart's Spending Update Might Alarm Congress

Americans across the country awaiting an agreement for a second federal stimulus plan have had their hopes dashed thus far with Congress currently on recess, but if there’s any indication of how important more federal help is, Walmart’s recent spending may be just that. The mega-store reported that consumer spending has quickly diminished as the first round of $1,200 checks have been wiped out.

The retailer reported a spike in sales that lined up with the economic boost of the first stimulus package. All of this made sense as more Americans were aided with financial support to buy necessities at the chain store. With those checks all depleted and no help incoming before the end of August, Walmart’s slowing numbers express just how serious of a hit the lack of urgency in regards to another stimulus package has made on the country. The company’s CFO, Brett Biggs, told CNBC that the first stimulus “was definitely impactful” and that if and when the two sides reach an agreement on a new package, that “it would be for consumers.” Walmart reported sales tapering off a bit in July.

As for when the country can expect a new deal to be made, that likely won’t come until the middle of September at the earliest. That’s because Congress is on recess until after Labor Day and even if everything goes smoothly and quickly upon the resumption, and President Donald Trump signs off on it as soon as possible, stimulus checks, which have been agreed upon between both parties, wouldn't go out until Sept. 21 at the earliest.

Talks between the two sides, though, may stall even further with both parties being heavily involved in their respective national conventions. This week sees the Democratic National Convention, which runs from Monday through Thursday, as Joe Biden will accept the party’s presidential nomination alongside his newly-appointed running mate, Kamala Harris. The following week will see Donald Trump partake in the Republican National Convention, accepting the reelection bid, though the location of his speech remains a hot topic subject as he insists he will be doing so on the White House lawn, a move that many are calling unethical.

Congress will be back from its recess during the first week of September. The House of Representatives will return on Sept. 14. The stalemate between the two sides likely won’t come to an end until after that date.