Stimulus checks: Mnuchin says he hopes McConnell will propose new relief bill next week

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Fox News Monday that he is hopeful Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, will propose a new plan for the next COVID-19 stimulus relief package.

“Hopefully Mitch will enter new legislation next week,” Mnuchin said in an interview on Fox Business Network.

Talks over another stimulus plan stalled last month just before members of Congress left Washington for the August recess. Democrats have proposed a more than $3 trillion plan for COVID-19 relief. The GOP plan called for $1.3 trillion in relief that included money for unemployment benefits, a stimulus check and liability protection for businesses.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on Sunday blamed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, for refusing to negotiate on a bill.

“She puts forth a number, suggests that she came down, and yet she’s willing to turn down $1.3 trillion of help that goes to the American people because she would rather them have nothing than to give way on what her fantasy might be,” Meadows said during an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“The $1.3 trillion package would also include funding for schools, childcare, and hospitals “at levels (Pelosi) would agree with,” Meadows added

In early August, President Donald Trump sidestepped the two sides by issuing four executive directives designed to give $300 in jobless benefits, halt certain foreclosures and offer other aid.

Democrats, Republicans and Trump have all said they would be in favor of issuing a second stimulus check to more than 180 million U.S. citizens. The first round of checks went out in April. They were set at $1,200 per adult and included an additional $500 per dependent.

Both the Senate and the House are out of session until Sept. 8.