President Donald Trump on Monday provided an update on pending legislation to stimulate the economy after months of lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic.
When he was asked by a reporter, Joe St. George, about the possibility of another direct stimulus payment, Trump said, “Yeah, we are” going to send out another check.
“We had this going better than anybody’s ever seen before. We had the best job numbers, the best economics, the best economy we’ve ever had, and then we had the virus come in from China,” Trump remarked. “Now we’re rebuilding it again.”
Trump later said that the White House will push for “another package” that will “be very good,” and “it’ll be very generous.”
The president didn’t say how much would be sent out, but his remarks on Monday were the first time that he specifically mentioned the possibility of the next package containing a widely distributed stimulus payment or check.
When he was asked about when the measure would be unveiled, Trump said that he believes that “it’s going to be over the couple of weeks, probably,” and it will “be bi-partisan.”
In March, Congress passed the $2.2 trillion CARES act that sent up to $1,200 to eligible Americans, provided small business relief, expanded unemployment insurance payments of $600 extra per week, and other measures to offset economic losses incurred during the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic. The payments were sent out starting in mid-April.
While no final decisions have been made on a stimulus package, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told CNBC earlier in the day that the House, Senate, and White House will coordinate on some type of relief package after the July recess.
“Things the president has talked about publicly. He has talked about a payroll tax holiday for the workforce, he’s occasionally talked about capital gains tax relief,” Kudlow said.
“He wants to help out with some form of tax relief. Restaurants, entertainment, athletic contests, things of that sort,” he added. “We want to help out the tourism business, which has been hurt very badly. We also want to reward people who are reemploying, who are going back to work.”
Earlier this month, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told a congressional panel that the administration is “going to seriously look at whether we want to do more direct money to stimulate the economy,” adding that “I think this is all going to be about getting people back to work, and we look forward to working with the entire Senate on this.”
House Democrats several weeks ago passed the HEROES Act, which would increase the amount of direct money to children while allowing more members of a household—up to two adults and three children—to receive a payment of up to $6,000. Their bill would also keep the unemployment insurance bonus past its expiration date on July 31, provide more funding to state and local governments, and other measures.
Senate Republicans have said, however, that the $3 trillion bill is “dead on arrival” because it contains too many unnecessary provisions and is too expensive.