With negotiations on the next COVID-19 package stalled and some benefits expiring, President Donald Trump issued four executive actions to provide some relief until an agreement is reached. They include payroll tax deferral, student loan debt relief, enhanced unemployment benefits, and instructions that may reduce the threat of evictions. There is debate on the legality of some of the actions.
Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, Republicans and Democrats remain wide apart on how much to spend on the Phase 4 stimulus package and how to spend it. Chief negotiators have not met in a week, and no new meetings are scheduled, although the two sides are talking. Democrats are demanding that Republicans increase their proposal by $1 trillion. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated that Democrats would trim $1 trillion from their bill so that both sides could agree on a roughly $2 trillion compromise. So far, the White House is rejecting the offer.
Even if both sides agreed on the amount to spend, they would still have to agree on how to spend it. The main sticking points are aid to states and unemployment benefits. Some are predicting no action on COVID relief until mid-to-late September.