Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said that the next round of pandemic legislation may include more stimulus payments to help, namely, low-income Americans.
When he was asked about whether more direct payments would be included, the Kentucky Republican said it “could well” have them. He then said that certain people who make less than a certain amount per year have been hit the hardest by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic.
“I think the people who have been hit the hardest are people who make about $40,000 a year or less. Many of them work in the hospitality industry. The hospitality industry, as all of you know, just got rim-racked—hotels, restaurants—and so that could well be a part of it,” McConnell told reporters.
It’s not clear if McConnell was suggesting whether the $40,000 income would be the cut-off point for the stimulus payments.
McConnell’s suggestion of a more targeted approach to sending out direct payments may find bipartisan support.
“I think the next round we’ve got to be more targeted to those who are really in need. So I hope we can target this a little bit better to those who have been hit hard because of COVID-19,” Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) told reporters of a second stimulus payment.
Elaborating further on the timeline, McConnell said he would put forward his own legislation after the Senate returns on July 20.
“I’ll be unveiling something which will be a starting point in a few weeks and we’ll be dealing with the administration and the Democrats,” McConnell said on Monday.
“I can’t comfortably predict we’re going to come together and pass it unanimously like we did a few months ago,” he added. “The atmosphere has become more political than it was in March, but I think we will do something. The country needs one last boost.”
He reiterated that the next stimulus legislation will likely be the last.
“This will have to be the last rescue package, because we now have a debt the size of our economy for the first time since World War II. We cannot keep doing this,” McConnell said.
The new comments came several days after the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that nearly 5 million new jobs were added in June. But during the pandemic, more than 40 million people have filed for unemployment as governors implemented statewide stay-at-home orders, leading to the closure of numerous “non-essential” businesses.
The House and Senate left for a nearly three-week recess starting last week. They will return on July 20, coming just days before expanded unemployment insurance payments of $600 per week are set to end