Trump Discusses Using Leftover Government Funding To Provide A Second Stimulus Package


Officials at the White House have been considering issuing a new round of executive actions amid diminishing hopes for a bipartisan coronavirus relief deal.

The Trump administration has discussed efforts to provide support for the hard-pressed airline industry and boost federal unemployment benefits.

The administration is also contemplating moving ahead without Congress to distribute more money for school vouchers, and changing President Trump's temporary payroll tax deferral to make it more productive. However, the Constitution gives Congress, not the president, the authority to determine how federal funds are to be distributed.

Back in earlier August Congress remained deadlocked over another round of emergency relief so President Trump went around them and signed four executive actions to slightly restore unemployment benefits to $300 weekly and postpone payroll tax payments through the end of the year for workers making less than $104,000, hinder evictions and defer student loan payments.

Since then negotiations of another aid package have collapsed and there have been no signs of either side budging accusing each other of playing politics.

One of the lead negotiators for the White House, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said his main focus now is ensuring Congress passes a temporary fix to keep federal agencies open beyond September 30th.

Mnuchin added that he was unsure whether the two sides would ever be able to reach a compromise on another round of emergency relief. When asked about the chances of a deal before the end of the year he said, "I don't know. We'll see. I hope there is. It's important to a lot of people out there."

Lawmakers are working right up to the deadline, with just several weeks left before they leave Washington to campaign before the November election.

Last week during a White House briefing Trump said that he could use executive authority to reallocate the $300 billion in unused coronavirus relief funds to provide Americans with a second $1,200 stimulus check but he would prefer that Congress agree to the proposal.

"We have $300 billion in an account that we didn't use," said Trump. "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."

Trump did not specify the source of the funding but it's possible he may have been referring to unused business loan money for the $2.2 trillion CARES Act.

Trump said, "It's money that we have - money that we built up and money that we haven't spent, and I would love to give it to the American people as a very powerful stimulus."

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