White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said President Donald Trump still wants to distribute $1,200 stimulus payments to Americans.
“The White House is still motivated,” she reporters on Monday when she was asked about whether the administration is interested in coming to an agreement on the next stimulus bill.
“The president would love to see the direct payments to Americans,” she said. “The president would love to see the school funding.”
The stimulus payments were considered among the least contentious issues among Democratic and Republican negotiators, as both sides included them in their respective stimulus measures.
Last week, talks between the two parties stalled after two weeks of negotiations, leaving Trump to issue executive orders to provide a federal unemployment benefits boost, suspend payroll taxes, defer student loan payments, and consider a moratorium on evictions.
“There are several items that we’d like to see happen. The more relief for the American people—and those in need, in particular—the better,” McEnany told reporters. “But this president, you know, has taken action to alleviate—alleviate some of that burden. But make no mistake: There’s still much more that we’d like to accomplish, but that includes having willing negotiating partners in Congress. And so far, we have none on the—in the Democrat Party, it seems.”
The Democrats’ HEROES Act is worth approximately $3.4 trillion while Republicans’ HEALS Act is worth about $1 trillion. Of late, Democrats and Republicans were very much divided on whether or not to fund state and city governments, with Democrats seeking nearly $1 trillion and Republicans wanting exactly zero.
President Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have both said the $1 trillion funding measure is too high.
Trump took executive action to provide $400 in unemployment benefits, with $300 coming from the federal government and $100 from states. He also issued orders to look into issuing moratoriums on evictions for renters and homeowners, deferrals on student loan payments, and a suspension of the payroll tax that pays for Social Security and Medicare. The benefits are down from the $600 per week in supplemental federal benefits out-of-work Americans got starting March until July 31.
The “executive order on evictions doesn’t even guarantee a moratorium on evictions, let alone identify specific funds to help people who’ve fallen behind on rent,” he said.
White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow told Fox News on Tuesday Trump’s plan on unemployment will go into effect in two weeks or so.