Mnuchin Confirms GOP Stimulus Plan to Include $1,200 Stimulus Checks

July 23, 2020 Updated: July 23, 2020

A forthcoming Senate Republican stimulus proposal will mirror CARES Act that included a one-time $1,200 economic impact payment to some Americans, said a top White House official on Thursday.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was asked about the nature of the payments, saying it would be the same as the bill passed in March.

“We’re talking about the same provision as last time, so our proposal is the exact same proposal as last time,” Mnuchin told reporters.

The CARES Act provided up to $1,200 payments to individuals making up to $75,000 per year, and the amount dropped until it hit an income of $99,000 per year. Children received $500 under the measure.

Couples who earn less than $150,000 a year will receive the full benefit of $2,400. And those who earn more will see their check reduced by 5 percent over $150,000.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks during a meeting with restaurant industry executives about the COVID-19 response, in Washington on May 18, 2020. (Evan Vucci/AP Photo)

It’s not clear if the bill will include the $500 for children. Other details were not provided by Mnuchin.

House Democrats in May passed the HEROES Act along party lines, which would also provide $1,200 stimulus payments but with fewer income requirements. Children would receive $1,200 payments under the bill.

The direct payment is part of a larger stimulus measure of assistance. Both Republicans in the Senate, Democrats, and White House officials including President Donald Trump have said they support the stimulus payments.

After the CARES Act was passed in March, it took around two weeks for the first payments to be distributed. A number of people received them electronically in mid-April, with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sending them to Americans’ bank accounts.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said in an interview this week that he does not expect the bill to be completed in July, although Democratic leaders have pushed for it to be finished by July 31, when expanded unemployment insurance runs out for many Americans.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is expected to deliver a speech shortly after the Senate opens, and then senators will begin rolling out their separate parts of the package, according to Republican granted anonymity to discuss the plans.

The $600 weekly unemployment benefit boost that is expiring Friday will be reduced, likely to $200, and ultimately adjusted according to state jobless benefits rates. Some Republicans say the boost is a disincentive to work, but others prefer a phased approach. Some Republicans are pressing for a temporary extension of the current benefit if the talks drag.

“We cannot allow there to be a cliff in unemployment insurance given we’re still at about 11 percent unemployment,” said Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio).

The Associated Press contributed to this report.