White House Official Says Stimulus Checks on the Table, ‘Generous’ Unemployment Benefits Over

July 2, 2020 Updated: July 2, 2020

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Americans no longer need the extra $600 in weekly unemployment payments as those benefits are slated to expire at the end of July.

“The shape of any kind of package is still up in the air,” Kudlow told Bloomberg News about the long-awaited next stimulus package. He said that the extra $600 probably would not be included in the bill, saying “that moment has passed.”

The additional payments were included in the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, which was passed by Congress and signed into law in March. The bill stipulates that they should expire on July 31, although in some states, the payments expire about a week before that.

“Re-employment benefits probably will help fill the bill,” Kudlow said.

In another interview, Kudlow said that another direct cash payment is still on the table in the next package.

“It’s a large-scale package,” he told Fox News Business on Thursday. “Direct checks are probably going to be part of it, as far as the president is concerned right now.”

A day before, President Donald Trump said he supports the idea of sending out payments greater than $1,200, which was the maximum one could receive under the CARES Act.

Economy Jobs Report
A customer walks out of a U.S. Post Office branch and under a banner advertising a job opening, in Seattle, Wash., on June 4, 2020. (Elaine Thompson/AP Photo)

“I support actually larger numbers than the Democrats, but it’s got to be done properly,” he said in an interview on Wednesday. “I want the money getting to people to be larger so they can spend it. I want the money to get there quickly and in a non-complicated fashion.”

Kudlow’s and Trump’s comments come as the Department of Labor unveiled that more than 4.8 million jobs are added in the month of June, which is the biggest increase in U.S. history, while the unemployment rate fell to about 11.1 percent.

Tens of millions of jobs were lost during the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus outbreak, with governors issuing stay-at-home and social distancing orders that forced some businesses to close down and lay off workers.

Republicans have said they do not expect more relief measures will be passed until the end of the July recess, which is scheduled to end on July 20.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the United States recorded more than 50,000 CCP virus cases on Wednesday, although other trackers have noted that the daily death toll has been relatively low in recent weeks.

On Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence told CNBC that he doesn’t believe there is a need for a “national mandate” to wear masks.

“The truth is that we’re monitoring right now 12 states that have rising cases and rising positivity, and we’re fully supporting efforts that the governors are taking and local health officials are taking to encourage people to practice good hygiene, social distancing, wear a mask where social distancing is not possible,” he said.