A growing number of White House officials are warming to the idea of passing another piece of legislation to provide more stimulus funding and sending out direct deposits to Americans.
White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett told the Wall Street Journal, which reported that the administration is working on its own stimulus plan, that the odds of another piece of legislation is “very, very high.” President Trump said on June 5 that he “[will] be asking for additional stimulus money.”
“Because once we get this going, it’ll be far bigger and far better than we’ve ever seen in this country,” he said of the economy, adding “that includes as of three or four months ago, when everyone thought it was great and it was great.”
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who spearheaded the White House’s efforts to push for the CARES Act, also signaled a growing need for stimulus payments.
“I think we’re going to seriously look at whether we want to do more direct money to stimulate the economy,” Mnuchin said Wednesday as he testified before the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
The White House has not immediately responded to a request for comment. It’s not clear what specific policies the Trump administration could be exploring.
Several weeks ago, House Democrats passed the HEROES Act, worth $3.3 trillion, which would provide more direct payments to Americans, state, and local government funding, bolstered unemployment insurance, more funding for hospitals, and other measures.
GOP leaders have indicated that the bill won’t pass the Senate in its current form. What’s more, it’s not clear if the HEROES Act will be amended, or if it will be rejected entirely.
The HEROES Act would offer each member of a household $1,200, including children. The previous CARES Act, signed into law in March, handed out up to $1,200 for eligible Americans and $500 for children. The income thresholds will be the same, with single taxpayers making less than $75,000 and married couples earning less than $150,000 receiving the full payments.
The HEROES Act would limit the total payments to $6,000, whereas the CARES Act limited it to $3,400, with two parents earning less than $75,000 and two children.
Republican leaders have said they won’t vote on any new stimulus legislation until mid-July.
“If you look right now at the schedule for the balance of the June work period is DOD, great outdoors, a couple circuit judges. … I don’t know how you can wedge that in there,” Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate’s GOP leadership, told reporters on June 8. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), another member of GOP leadership, told The Hill that the timing of the bill would be targeted at the “end of July.”
“That’s my sense of when we will and frankly my sense of when we’ll have all the information we need to put the next bill together,” Blunt said.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest jobs report showed that the economy gained jobs in May, although more than 40 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits after months of lockdowns triggered by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic.