Coronavirus stimulus package phase 4: more checks?

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Talk about the phase 4 coronavirus stimulus package continues, although we are still nearly a month away before the negotiations on Capitol Hill get serious. We’re watching what White House officials and lawmakers have to say about a second round of IRS stimulus checks closely.

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What might be in a phase 4 coronavirus stimulus checks?

The growing consensus within the Trump administration seems to be having the phase 4 coronavirus stimulus package be more targeted than the first three phases of relief. The big question is who will be included and who will be excluded if there is a second round of stimulus checks sent.

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White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow told Fox Business earlier this week that there are a lot of discussions about the phase 4 coronavirus stimulus package right now. He said they would probably target those who "lost their jobs and are most in need."

That statement makes it clear that those who are unemployed could receive more assistance, but it also suggests low-income people might also make the cut. The first phase of Coronavirus stimulus checks went to individuals earning no more than $99,000 or couples making $198,000 per year. It sounds like the second round of checks could lower the amount of income you can earn in order to be eligible.

However, the phase 4 coronavirus stimulus package is still far from being a done deal. The Senate isn't even planning to take up negotiations on it until after their July 4 recess, which they return from on July 20. Until then, lawmakers and Trump advisers are sure to continue talking about what they think should be included in the phase 4 package.

Will a second round of stimulus checks make the cut?

The burning question is whether a second round of coronavirus stimulus checks will make it into the phase 4 package. President Donald Trump said they definitely will send more checks and that the next package will be "generous," although many Republicans are hesitant about increasing the federal deficit any more than it has been increased already.

Several economists have said a more targeted approach for the phase 4 stimulus package would be more effective at stimulating the economy. Brown University Professor John Friedman, who's working with a team of Harvard researchers called Opportunity Insights, told CNN that the first round of stimulus checks did boost spending.

However, it was lower-income households that spent the money, while those with higher incomes cut back, hurting low-income workers in the process. If people aren't comfortable shopping and going out to eat, then handing out more money won't stimulate the economy. Low-income households are more likely to spend the money because they need it.