CORONAVIRUS

Stimulus check: what did Mnuchin say about second payment and Unemployment Insurance?

Steven Mnuchin, the US Treasury Secretary, has returned to the emotive subject of a second Economic Impact Payment and Unemployment Insurance in the United States.

Cheque estímulo: ¿que dijo Mnuchin sobre el segundo pago y el seguro de desempleo? 
POOL REUTERS

Uncertainty continues to reign in the United States as Americans await news on a second stimulus check, one that was promised by the Trump administration. However, with Congress still not back from its summer recess, a glimpse of some light at the end of the long tunnel may be appearing.

Mnuchin focused on agreement areas

The frustration is etched on the faces of Steven Mnuchin, Treasury Secretary and Nancy Pelosi, leader of the House of Representatives, as both resumed negotiations on Tuesday, but the words coming out are that progress is being made.

Mnuchin spoke before a House Subcommittee at the White House on Tuesday and the main topic was the new economic rescue package. These were the first words we’ve heard from him since the negotiations broke down in mid-August and despite not supporting the $2.2 trillion package pushed by the Dems, he does say he wants the money to reach those who need it.

“What’s more important is... getting money to American workers, American families, kids. There are tremendous areas of agreement, and that’s what we should be doing right away,” Mnuchin said

“I would publicly say I am willing to sit down at the negotiating table with the speaker with no conditions whatsoever any time.”

Challenges remain

Although Mnuchin was upbeat, he still pointed to the opposition party as the reason why things haven’t moved as fast as they should have.

“Let’s move forward on a bipartisan basis on points we can agree upon,” Mnuchin said, before adding: “The president and I want to move forward.”

For her part, Pelosi said after a phone call with Mnuchin that "serious differences" remain between the two sides.

Differences | US Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.

"Sadly, this phone call made clear that Democrats and the White House continue to have serious differences understanding the gravity of the situation that America's working families are facing," Pelosi said in a statement.

Eviction moratorium to impact close to 40 million US renters

Mnuchin also talked about how the Trump administration was set to disclose details of an eviction moratorium, telling the panel that the guidelines were to ensure people "don't get thrown out of their rental homes" as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mnuchin called the action a "real moratorium" and urged the US Congress to provide rental assistance, saying the "significant actions" would impact "close to the 40 million renters."

He added: "You will see rolled out ... specific guidelines that I think you'll appreciate are quite significant on allowing moratoriums for people who certify, that they can't make their rental payments due to coronavirus related issues."

Election stimulus | President Donald Trump has a vested interest in American households feeling positive about government actions.

In July, a firm estimated more than $21.5 billion in past-due rent is owed by Americans.

Over the spring and early summer, as unemployment surged to levels unseen since the aftermath of the 1930s Great Depression, a patchwork of federal, state and local eviction bans kept renters in homes who could not make payments.

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives passed a bill in May that would extend enhanced jobless aid through January and allocated $100 billion for rental assistance. It would also have extended the federal ban on evictions for up to one year.

On Sunday, Mnuchin was back on TV with an update.