The “odds of there being a phase four deal are really close to 100 percent,” even after unemployment dropped significantly in May, said Hassett, the former chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. The last stimulus package, the CARES Act, which was approved in March, included up to a $1,200 payment for those who are eligible, expanded unemployment insurance, and offered relief for small businesses.
Another increase in employment figures in June would “absolutely affect the things that we pursue,” Hassett told Fox News on June 8.
Last week, the Department of Labor reported that 2.5 million jobs were added, and the unemployment rate fell to 13.3 percent. If employment figures continue on the upward trend, it could reduce the pressure on congressional Republicans and President Donald Trump to consider more sweeping aid packages from Democrats.
“One of the things that we’ve been saying and that the president’s insisted on is that we watch the economy recover, we see if it surprises us on the upside and if the programs that we have out there work or need to be fixed,” Hassett told CNBC. “We had a really good month of jobs numbers; if we get another month like that in June, then I think it would absolutely affect the things that we pursue in July in the phase four deal.”
The positive numbers came after numerous businesses reopened following weeks of social distancing measures during the pandemic. More easing is slated for this month, with New York and other cities starting to reopen on June 8.
Earlier in the month, top Republicans in the Senate said the next CCP virus stimulus package would wait until July.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said last week that the next round of stimulus legislation will most likely be the last, while indicating that the $600 extra per month in unemployment insurance won’t be included.
McConnell told reporters that the “fourth and final” bill will be proposed in “about one month,” coming as unemployment numbers have surged following business closures amid the COVID-19 pandemic.