White House negotiators are working to reach a deal on the new stimulus package before Congress recesses for August.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Aug. 7 deadline is days away, but the White House Democrats and Republicans have yet to reach an agreement on the next stimulus package. McConnell has projected that a deal on another stimulus bill be passed by this Friday, the last day before the Senate’s schedule monthlong recess. The Senate unveiled the HEALS Act on July 27, leaving only 11 days to negotiate an agreement. 

McConnell had previously stressed that the Senate won’t work into its August break that starts after this week. But with negotiations dragging on, the House, Senate and White House may miss the deadline without reaching a consensus.

The latest news out of Washington on Wednesday is that if a consensus is reached by the Friday deadline, Congress could vote next week. What could happen if a deal isn’t made by then? Here are some options.

Senate and House of Representatives likely to delay recess

Since the Senate’s August recess is scheduled to begin on Aug. 7, both McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can push the recess back so work can continue on the package. 

On Friday, while on the floor, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said that the House would remain in session until a deal on the stimulus package could be reached, potentially forgoing the August recess. 

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The president could issue an executive order 

On Aug. 3, President Donald Trump told reporters that if a consensus isn’t reached on the stimulus package he could take executive action to prevent people from being evicted from their homes, suspend payroll taxes and extend enhanced federal unemployment benefits. Trump said that he did have the power to order the Treasury Department from collecting the payroll taxes. 

During the press briefing on Aug. 4, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said that she couldn’t speak to what executive action from the president in regards to the stimulus package would look like.  

Congress could adjourns without a resolution, but unlikely

It’s technically possible — though not probable — that a deal won’t be reached by Aug. 7 and recess will begin as scheduled. In that event, the House and Senate will return from its break Sept. 8 and resume negotiations.

For more information, check out the current update on rent relief and landlord laws and HEALS vs. CARES vs. Heroes stimulus packages: Key differences between Republican and Democratic proposals. 



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