President Donald Trump said he backs another round of stimulus checks to provide the economy with a jolt as the country tries to emerge from a downturn caused by the CCP virus pandemic, but some GOP leaders have given him pushback.
Trump said he supports another round of stimulus checks, similar to the $1,200 ones that were distributed to Americans earlier this year, in an interview this week. “Yeah, we are,” he told a correspondent for Scripps television, adding that “we will be doing another stimulus package. It’ll be very good. It’ll be very generous.”
Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Congress earlier this month that stimulus checks are being considered.
“As we’ve said before, we’re talking about a bunch of different ideas that we may need to do in another bill,” Mnuchin said in a news conference earlier this week. “We’re going to take our time and make sure that we’re thoughtful. Whatever we do, it will be much more targeted, much more focused on jobs.”
However, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) told The Hill following a GOP meeting with Mnuchin that he has “a lot of skepticism about the wisdom about doing another big spending bill.” He is unsure about the government sending more payments because the ones that were doled out as a provision of the CARES Act in March was when the United States was in a “full-blown crisis.”
“I’m a skeptic about the idea of doing that. That was an emergency measure taken when we were in a full-blown crisis and, frankly, knew it was wildly inefficient because all kinds of people were getting checks whose work was not jeopardized,” he said.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) told the website that GOP senators “urged caution moving forward” during the meeting. “We want to make sure the next round of assistance is targeted at those who need it the most,” he said.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said the $1,200 checks were “necessary at the beginning,” but he added “I don’t see the compelling need” for more.
Despite some states reopening their economies over the past several weeks, around 40 million people are still collecting unemployment. Meanwhile, the expanded $600 per week in unemployment benefits, provided under the CARES Act, will end after July 31.
“My preference would be to extend unemployment insurance, but to do that in a more limited way, and a more targeted way,” said Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) about the stimulus checks, according to The Associated Press.
Larry Kudlow, a White House economic adviser, said that checks are being considered, saying that people who need payments the most should receive them.
“Probably, we would want to target those folks who lost their jobs and are most in need,” Kudlow told Fox News Business on Tuesday. “That’s the speculation on my part, but I think … that’s where it’s going.”
There will be a discussion on how to proceed in Congress to pass the measure following the July 4 recess, adding that “tax rebates or the direct mail checks” are also being considered. He said that the White House is looking to pursue “incentive-oriented policies” to get Americans back to work.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) have both expressed support for sending out more checks.