Coronavirus stimulus check: Where things stand as August ends

A month back if you had asked when the next stimulus checks would have come, many would have said by the end of August. Now, we have reached the end of August, but there are no signs of the next coronavirus stimulus checks.

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No coronavirus stimulus check in August: who’s to blame?

The stalemate over the next relief package continues as both Republicans and Democrats are unable to reach a deal. There haven’t been any real negotiations over the next package (except for 25 minutes last week) after the talks collapsed earlier this month.

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Last week, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had a 25-minute phone call. The talks, however, resulted in no progress.  Following the call, Pelosi told reporters that the two sides are at a “tragic impasse” and the White House “continues to disregard the needs of the American people as the coronavirus crisis devastates lives and livelihoods.”

On Friday, Meadows made a new offer to Democrats costing $1.3 trillion. It was again rejected by Pelosi, who argued that it would fail to meet the needs of Americans.

Talking about the $1.3 trillion offer on Saturday, Meadows said that Pelosi’s insistence on $2.2 trillion for the package is what’s holding up the deal.

“Here’s the problem is – she puts forth a number, suggests that she came down, and yet she’s willing to turn down $1.3 trillion of help that goes to the American people because she would rather them have nothing than to give way on what her fantasy objection might be,” Meadows told NBC’s Meet The Press.

What all happened in August?

If we set aside this $1.3 trillion offer and the 25-minute phone call between Pelosi and Meadows, there haven’t been any notable developments pointing to the intent of the lawmakers to strike a deal in August to give coronavirus stimulus checks to the cash-strapped Americans.

There were, however, reports of the Senate reading a skinny proposal. It was reported that the Senate is working on a proposal costing $500 billion that won’t include stimulus checks. The Senate was expected to introduce the proposal late last week, but there was no further news of it.  We may hear about this so-called skinny proposal this week.

Talking of where the negotiations on coronavirus stimulus checks stand as of now, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that they are no better off than when the talks started in early August. Democrats started with a $3 trillion demand for the relief package. Now, they are ready to compromise at over $2 trillion. The GOP initially unveiled the $1 trillion HEROES Act, but now they are reportedly preparing $500 billion proposals.

Meanwhile, the only relief (mostly on paper) that came to Americans was President Donald Trump’s executive orders. After the talks collapsed in the second week of August, Trump issued executive orders on enhanced unemployment benefits, evictions, student loan and payroll taxes.

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