Money left over from the last round of pandemic stimulus payments should be reused for the next round of checks, the president said.
The Oval Office has proposed reallocating unused CCP (Chinese Communist Party) Virus relief funds toward the second round of $1,200 payments.
“We have $300 billion in an account that we did not use—$300 billion and we are willing to use that,” President Donald Trump said in a statement. “We have $300 billion sitting in an account that we did not need because things are going so well with the economy.”
If approved by Congress, the amount could theoretically be used immediately to provide welcome financial relief for struggling businesses and Americans affected by government lockdowns to help contain the deadly disease.
“I would be willing to release it, subject to Congress, and use that as stimulus money, and it would go right to the American people,” the president said. “I am willing to do it; all we need as a sign-off … we do not need the money, we do not need anything, just let that money get released to the American people.”
However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) appears to be more interested in having her way and will indefinitely postpone the next stimulus package until the Republicans fully meet her demand for a $2.2 trillion package.
Her fellow Democrats have repeatedly rejected the Trump administration’s $1.3 trillion offer. The standoff has escalated, and it’s unlikely an agreement can be reached because the Democrats insist on making the decisions and refuse to cooperate.
“Listen, we are not going to negotiate here because the speaker has been very clear when she said $2.2 trillion, she said do not do anything at all Chuck [Sen. Schumer],” White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said in a video shared on YouTube. “I said, ‘What does the $2.2 trillion represent?’ You know what her response was? ‘I am not going to tell you, let me fill in the blanks’—that is not a proper negotiation nor is it anything that the American people accept.'”
If Congress is unable to reach an agreement, the president can make an executive decision that overrules the Democrats. However, this would only be a last resort.
“I think there is a theory that I could do it without having to go back but I think it would be appropriate to go back, and I would ask Congress to approve it,” he said. “It is a very simple approval, it is literally … a one-sentence approval and the Democrats should do that. The Republicans will do that, they would be glad to do that, so we will see whether or not they do it.”