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TALKS over the stalled coronavirus relief have resumed as Republicans admit that the country "needs" more $1,200 checks.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows resumed talks over what many hope will lead to a second stimulus check, but the money is unlikely to be released until October.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he still hopes for more relief to come in: “We need another one, the country needs another one,” he said during a visit to a hospital in Pikeville, Kentucky.
The idea of a second round of $1,200 stimulus checks has bipartisan support, with Trump even saying the amount could go higher when asked in July.
“I’d like to see it be very high because I love the people. I want the people to get it, you know, the economy is going to come back,” Trump said.
“We saved millions of lives, but now we’re bringing (the economy) back … we gotta take care of the people in the meantime.”
The hope is that $1,200 checks will be released either way as Pelosi and Meadows are due to meet on Thursday to get it straightened out.
Trump’s team and congressional Democrats have been at loggerheads over a compromise this month over how much is needed to support the country.
Democrats now say they would be willing to meet halfway at $2.2 trillion after talks collapsed earlier this month against the White House's $1 trillion offer.
Pelosi said: “We have said again and again that we’re willing to meet them in the middle — $2.2 trillion. When they’re willing to do that, we’ll be willing to discuss the particulars.”
After negotiations hit a "stalemate" earlier this month Trump issued four executive orders offering limited aid including $300 in jobless benefits.
The orders offered nothing to cash-strapped states and did nothing to help infrastructure or unemployment and school reopenings or more testing and were slammed by critics.
Congress will return to Washington after Labor Day provided there is a deal ready for voting, however talks have been made more complicated after threats to Postal Service funds before the November election.
New disaster aid is also expected to be added to the bill following the Gulf state hurricanes and California wildfires.
Here’s how the stimulus proposals should work for you
The Acts that are being proposed are similar to the CARES Act in March. Both packages include another round of $1,200 stimulus checks for eligible Americans. Here’s how they differ.
CARES Act: The CARES Act was passed in March. There was no limit to the number of children who could count as dependents, as long as they were under 17 and claimed by the taxpayer on the tax return, according to the Tax Foundation. Each dependent would get a taxpayer $500. Theoretically, a family in which two adults and six children under 17 were eligible for the full amount could receive $5,400.
HEALS Act: The Republican backed HEALS Act doesn't mention a cap on the amount a family may receive, but qualifies any dependent regardless of age for $500 without a limit.
Heroes Act: The Dem's Heroes Act, which has never been taken up or vetoed by the Senate, proposed $1,200 per adult and dependent capped at $6,000 – a maximum of three dependents per family.
If any act is passed or agreed on then people are likely to recieve the money on a special credit card. The move comes as up to 300,000 families are thought to have accidentally thrown their checks out mistaking it for junk mail.
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has blamed Democratic leadership for not passing a package.
He said: “I even think that we can come up with an agreement on stimulus checks to Americans and enhanced unemployment. Those issues are not as divisive as we might think.
“Let’s at least pass what we can all agree to.”
Last weekend, House lawmakers appeared hopeful negotiators could agree to terms that included an additional check and blamed the other side of the aisle for the holdup.
Democratic Rep. Joe Cunningham of South Carolina said: “It’s been frustrating for me to watch this unfold as it has.
“I would encourage everyone to remain at the negotiating table, (and) hammer out a deal recognizing that not everyone is going to get everything they want. Do not let perfect be the enemy of good.”
On the Republican side there are some who want to see how the last package has worked in practice and are eying up the potential national debt, but others agree it’s time to reexamine the idea of additional relief.
Rep. Michael Guest of Mississippi said: “I believe it’s important to look at things we can do to stimulate the economy with things like stimulus checks, but also making sure that we are not continuing to add trillions of dollars of debt that (will) have to be paid by our children and grandchildren.”
The Republican, who won his seat in 2018 as a Trump supporter, noted he’d only be interested in supporting a scaled-down version of an aid package.
The news comes as Republicans make a push for a smaller coronavirus stimulus bill that would cap benefits at $300 to $400 per week.
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