Coronavirus stimulus checks: Wait could be over, suggests Mnuchin

We have already seen President Donald Trump, as well as Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell talking in favor of another round of stimulus checks this week. Now, on Thursday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin suggested a second round of coronavirus stimulus checks could be part of the next stimulus package.

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Mnuchin backs second coronavirus stimulus checks

In an interview to CNBC, Mnuchin said the Trump administration is in favor of issuing another round of stimulus checks. The Treasury Secretary, however, did not provide specific details of what the next stimulus checks could be, saying the administration is in talks with the congressional leaders.

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“We do support another round of economic impact payments,” Mnuchin said. “The level and the criteria, we’ll be discussing with the Senate.”

Earlier this month, Trump told Fox Business that he supports another round of stimulus checks. Trump also hinted that he supports stimulus checks of even larger amounts than what has been proposed by Democrats. The HEROES Act, which has already been passed by the House of Representatives, proposes giving up to $1,200 per person.

So far, there are no details on who would qualify for the next stimulus checks. McConnell, however, a few days back noted that the pandemic had hit those earning $40,000 or less the hardest. McConnell’s comments triggered speculation that the cut-off income for the next stimulus checks could be $40,000.

Mnuchin said he had a “very productive call” with McConnell, but he did not say if the next coronavirus stimulus checks will target low-income families only.

Next stimulus package a "priority"

Along with talking about the next coronavirus stimulus checks, Mnuchin also discussed what the next package might include. Mnuchin said the administration plans to encourage people to go back to work and address drawbacks of the unemployment benefits.

“We will not be doing it in the same way. We’re in a different situation. Businesses reopened and want to hire,” he said.

The $600 federal unemployment benefits will end later this month. Several Republicans have already voiced their opinion against extending the unemployment benefits. They argue that increased unemployment benefits could push unemployment higher as people would have less incentive to work.

Mnuchin, previously, warned that those who reject an offer from an employer after being laid off due to coronavirus would no longer qualify for federal unemployment benefits.

On Thursday, Mnuchin also talked about when we could expect the next stimulus package. The Treasury Secretary said they are targeting to enact legislation by the end of the month. Further, he said that they are taking it as a “priority” to pass the legislation within ten days after the Senate reconvenes on July 20.

“As soon as the Senate gets back, we’re going to sit down on a bipartisan basis with the Republicans and the Democrats and it will be our priority that between the 20th and the end of the month, we’re going to pass the next legislation,” Mnuchin said.