We’re starting to get a better picture of what might be in the phase 4 stimulus package, and what’s being talked about doesn’t include a second check, unfortunately. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean a second round of IRS stimulus checks won’t be tacked onto the main bill. The White House has reportedly been discussing the possibility of more checks.
Now infrastructure could be in phase 4 stimulus bill
Trump advisers previously talked about the phase 4 stimulus bill focusing on manufacturing and industry with the goal of creating more jobs and bringing jobs back to the U.S. However, Bloomberg is now reporting that infrastructure may be the focus.
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Sources reportedly told the news outlet that the Trump administration is putting together an infrastructure proposal worth almost $1 trillion. The proposal will be part of the plan to revive the nation's economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Bloomberg said a preliminary version of the proposal from the Department of Transportation would set aside most of the money for roads, bridges and other traditional work. However, the bill will also set aside money to build out 5G wireless infrastructure, which is something else President Donald Trump has talked about in recent years.
The proposal would also build out rural broadband services. Trump is set to talk about access to broadband in rural parts of the U.S. during an event on Thursday at the White House.
Bipartisan support possible
The current bill that was put in place to fund infrastructure is set to expire on Sept. 30, so it will need to be renewed by that date. Sources reportedly told Bloomberg that the Trump administration sees that as a potential way to get an infrastructure bill passed. The proposal still isn't final yet and hasn't been officially announced.
It is possible that a phase 4 stimulus package focused on infrastructure could pass both the Democrat-controlled House and the GOP-controlled Senate. Trump has been focused on infrastructure as a way to get the economy going again for some time.
Democrats in the House have been trying to get their $500 billion infrastructure plan passed for more than five years. It isn't clear how many years the Trump administration's proposal would authorize spending for or how the work would be paid for.
Will a second round of IRS stimulus checks be included in phase 4?
The burning question on everyone's minds is whether the phase 4 stimulus package will include a second round of checks for the general public. The White House and Senate Republicans have been focused on getting the economy going as the pandemic shows signs of letting up. Infrastructure spending could be one way to do that because it will create jobs.
A second round of IRS stimulus checks could also go a long way toward helping the economy rev back up. Putting more money in the pockets of average Americans could encourage them to spend more. Some might save the money instead of pouring it back into the economy, but given how much damage was done to the economy by the pandemic, there could be a need for the cash so people can continue to buy basic needs.
Other possible items that could be a phase 4 stimulus package include a payroll tax cut, which Trump has been calling for. A back-to-work bonus might also be part of the bill. Democrats want to see financial assistance for state and local governments, although Republicans want to restrict the aid to expenses incurred during the pandemic to avoid bailing out governments that have had budget deficits for years due to poor management.
One possible sticking point in the phase 4 stimulus package is unemployment. Democrats want to extend the extra $600 per week in benefits. However, Republicans want to avoid that because it incentivizes people to stay out of work as long as possible because they get paid more on unemployment than they do on the job.
It is possible that the extra unemployment benefit could be reduced, but Trump officials have said that whatever is done with unemployment, it needs to be fixed so people aren't earning more while out of work than they do on the job.