Over the past few months, there was uncertainty if the second relief package would include stimulus checks or not. The doubt was primarily due to the lack of support from Senate Republicans. However, on Tuesday, the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell finally confirmed that their coronavirus package would include stimulus checks.
Coronavirus stimulus checks confirmed?
McConnell yesterday confirmed that Republican lawmakers support another round of stimulus checks. However, McConnell did not reveal the amount of the check and the income cap that they would propose.
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“We want another round of direct payments to help American families keep driving our national comeback,” McConnell said.
Now with McConnell supporting direct payments, the coronavirus stimulus checks are almost confirmed because Congressional Democrats and President Trump are already on board. The uncertainty now is on the amount of the stimulus checks and the eligibility criteria.
A few weeks back, McConnell suggested that the direct payment could be for those earning $40,000 or less. It is believed that such an income cap could disqualify millions of Americans from getting stimulus checks.
In contrast, those earning less than $75,000 ($150,000 married/joint filers) got a stimulus check of $1,200 under the CARES Act. The first stimulus checks phased out completely for those earning $99,000 ($198,000 for married/joint filers).
The $3 trillion HEROES Act, which was passed by the House Democrats in May, proposes giving $1,200 stimulus checks, as well as, $1,200 for each dependent (up to three). It proposes the same income cap as the CARES Act. Previously, Trump also had announced plans of giving “generous” stimulus checks.
The suspense over the GOP’s proposed bill could become clear soon. McConnell is expected to release the GOP-version of the stimulus bill sometime this week.
What more happened on Tuesday?
On Tuesday again, several closed-door meetings were held, likely to develop a consensus on the next stimulus bill. Reports are that Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and acting chief of staff Mark Meadows met separately with McConnell, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others.
The objective of these meetings reportedly was to broker a compromise on the GOP's $1 trillion proposal and the Democrat's $3 trillion HEROES Act. Reactions from senators gave hints of what was discussed in those meetings.
A few GOP senators seemed outraged at the potential outlays. "They should be ashamed of themselves," said Rand Paul of Kentucky, according to the Associated Press. Paul referred to fellow Republicans as "Bernie bros."
Sen. Rick Scott of Florida suggested that he does not support bailing out cash-strapped states. "Florida taxpayers are not going to pay for New York's expenses," he said.
Talking about what the next stimulus package might include, Meadows told reporters Tuesday that the president wants to ensure that the package meets the “legitimate needs” of Americans.
Kayleigh McEnany, White House press secretary, said that the administration wants “targeted” funds for the next stimulus package.