We are already a week into July, but there is still no official word on the coronavirus stimulus checks or other aid 2. Now, however, we see some urgency in the tone of the GOP to come up with a stimulus package. This comes as good news for many Americans as previously the GOP had a laid back attitude on the next stimulus round.
Coronavirus stimulus 2 checks coming soon? GOP pivots
We are very likely to hear about a decision on the coronavirus stimulus 2 sometime later this month. The problem, however, is that July doesn’t have as many working days. Including the Senate holidays, the politicians will have less than two weeks to decide on the stimulus package, if it is to come this month.
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The GOP, it seems, is aware of this, and is now showing urgency when it comes to another stimulus payment. Last week, Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, told Fox & Friends that a decision on another stimulus package needs to be reached as soon as the Senate gets back from a two-week recess.
“We need to get off our butts and get this done,” Graham said.
Prior to Graham, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also indicated that they would decide on the next stimulus package this month.
This comes as positive news for the advocates of another stimulus package. Republicans, for weeks, have talked about a wait-and-see approach on the next stimulus round, and have received criticism from Democrats for this. Now they look eager to conclude things this month.
“We’re waiting for Mitch McConnell over on the Senate side to get off his rear end and do something,” Rep. Jim McGovern, a Democrat from Massachusetts, said recently. “Up to this point, he’s done nothing.”
Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also urged McConnell to start the discussion on another coronavirus relief bill. In a letter, Pelosi and Schumer called it “unacceptable” to allow the Senate to go on a two-week recess without any legislation on the next stimulus package.
“Now is the time for action, not continued delays and political posturing,” Pelosi and Schumer wrote.
Coronavirus stimulus checks 2: what to expect?
Talking about the June jobs report, which showed the addition of 4.8 million jobs last month, Senator Graham said there is a need of a stimulus package that “would hit the gas” to push up the growth rate.
Graham, who is a member of the Senate Budget Committee, called the jobs report “really good news." The fact that people are going back to work suggests that the country is bouncing back and it is a sign that the government can continue with opening the country.
"Congress needs to act in July to continue this trend. If we had the right kind of stimulus package, we would be going through the roof by October in terms of economic growth," he said. “The bottom line here is we've got an opening, take it, it may not last."
Graham also talked about what he expects to be included in the coronavirus stimulus 2. The Senator said that Trump’s proposed payroll tax would put the money back into the pocket of consumers and businesses. Graham also noted that the infrastructure bill would give a “facelift with our roads, bridges, and ports that would set in motion future job creation."
Further, Graham noted that the next stimulus could include "liability reforms." This would allow businesses to open up without worrying about getting sued. McConnell has long been saying that he wants liability protection as part of the next stimulus.
"I am increasingly optimistic that we are going to control the virus and reopen the economy smartly," Graham said.
What about unemployment benefits and direct checks?
On unemployment benefits, Graham indicated that paying more in unemployment benefits than what people get by working would discourage them from getting back to work. The Senator suggested an increase in the minimum wage to get people back to work.
The $600 federal unemployment benefits will expire later this month. Senate Democrats, on Wednesday, came up with a proposal to extend the unemployment benefits.
McConnell, however, said last week that the next stimulus bill won’t extend unemployment benefits. “That is a different issue from whether we ought to pay people a bonus not to go back to work. And so I think that was a mistake,” McConnell told reporters.
Graham did not talk about if the coronavirus stimulus 2 would include stimulus checks or not. However, President Donald Trump and other high-profile politicians are in support of direct payments.
Trump recently suggested that the next stimulus checks would be "large" and "generous."
“I support actually larger numbers than the Democrats, but it’s got to be done properly,” Trump told FOX Business last week.
Last week, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow noted that the direct cash payment is still on the table.