Trump says Americans will get another round of stimulus payments if Congress can pass another relief deal
- President Donald Trump on Monday said he supported a second round of direct payments to Americans.
- With the CARES Act — which also authorized an additional $600 per week in unemployment benefits — winding down at the end of July, Congress is working on another package.
- It's not clear what the timing or size of any additional stimulus payments would be. It's up to Congress to approve any new measures.
President Donald Trump on Monday said Americans would be receiving a second round of stimulus payments as part of a second bailout package — if it's passed.
"We are," he said when asked directly if the White House was working with Congress on another round of payments, but he was not able to offer any specifics on timing or amounts.
—Joe St. George (@JoeStGeorge) June 22, 2020
While Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has floated the possibility of further payments, many Republican congressional leaders have opposed further individual aid, including the extension of a $600-per-week federal unemployment benefit that is set to expire at the end of July.
Other members of the administration have appeared more blasé about the possibility of more payments, especially as they celebrate the May jobs report, which showed the unemployment rate decreasing slightly. More than 13% of job-seeking Americans are still unemployed.
"There's almost certainly going to be a package," White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told CNBC Monday. "What's in the package? I don't want to predict."
Kudlow mentioned a tax-relief holiday and reductions on capital-gains taxes, adding that Trump wants to assist economic sectors like tourism and entertainment, which have been hit hard by the pandemic. Those have been mentioned publicly by the president, but Kudlow did not mention further individual payments.
"No decisions have been made," he concluded.
—Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) June 22, 2020
For Trump, the appeal of the checks — which came emblazoned with his name — is clear: People may vote with their wallets. Other Republicans, however, could be swayed by the positive results from the first round of payments.
Researchers at the University of Chicago and the University of Notre Dame found in a new study published Monday that the poverty rate in America fell in April and May — during the depths of the crisis — thanks to the checks, which maxed out at $1,200 for individuals. The academics also said the decline was thanks in part to the $600 additional unemployment benefit, another part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.
Their findings underscore the reach of the sweeping federal intervention and its effectiveness in shoring up people's finances during an economic downturn, particularly for lower-income workers.
Now it all comes down to Congress.
"When will Senate Republicans finally get the message?" Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said, according to The Wall Street Journal. "We must act now."
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