Talks and expectations surrounding the second coronavirus stimulus have increased now that we are into July. Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reaffirmed that they would start the discussion on the next bill this month. On Wednesday, President Donald Trump further fueled coronavirus stimulus checks expectations, saying it would be “larger.”
Trump wants "larger" coronavirus stimulus
Trump, on Wednesday, reiterated support for another round of coronavirus stimulus checks. He made one new revelation about the stimulus payment as well. Trump said he is in favor of giving out more money than what has been proposed by Democrats.
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“I do, I support it, but it has to be done properly,” Trump told Fox Business when asked about if he is in favor of another stimulus round. “I support actually larger numbers than the Democrats.”
Last month, Trump said that they would be doing a “very generous” additional stimulus package.
In May, Democrats passed the HEROES Act, which is worth more than $3 trillion. The bill proposes $1,200 per person, and up to $6,000 per household. It also extends $600 per week federal unemployment benefits through January.
There have been other proposals from Democrats as well, including stimulus checks of up to $2000. Trump, however, gave no hint which Democrats’ proposal he is referring to.
Now that Trump has said he wants bigger coronavirus stimulus than what Democrats proposed, it may mean bigger stimulus checks, or a bigger overall package. It is possible that he might be referring to the HEROES Act as it has already been passed by the House and is, so far, the most popular proposal.
When asked what he meant by larger payments, Trump said he wanted “the money getting to people to be larger so they can spend it. I want the money to get there quickly and in a non-complicated fashion.”
Previously, White House trade advisor Peter Navarro said that the president wants the next stimulus bill to be “at least $2 trillion." This amount is almost double the amount that Mitch McConnell said the next stimulus would be.
Trump not in favor of extending unemployment benefit
There is not just suspense on the amount, but on what the next stimulus package would actually include as well. Trump does not seem very interested in extending the federal unemployment benefits, which will end later this month.
Trump suggested that Democrats are making things complicated, adding that the enhanced unemployment benefit “was an incentive not to go to work” as many made more money by not going to work.
“That’s not what the country’s all about,” Trump said.
On Wednesday, Senate Democrats, led by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and Finance Committee ranking member Ron Wyden of Oregon, outlined a plan to continue with the federal unemployment benefits until there is a drop in states’ unemployment rate.
Trump likely favors an incentive to encourage people to go back to work. “We had something where they wanted where it gave you a disincentive to work last time,” he said, adding, “We want to create a very great incentive to work.”
Trump’s remarks suggest that his administration would not support Democrats’ push to extend the $600 federal unemployment benefit. Many Republicans also support providing an incentive to those returning to work.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) proposed a “return to work” bonus previously. This program pays money to people to find a job if they are unemployed, or go back to work if they are furloughed. Those eligible as per Portman’s proposal would get their regular wages and $450 a week as federal benefit.
Next stimulus package: when to expect it?
Talking of when we could expect the next stimulus, it is most likely to come this month. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has long been saying that they would decide on the next stimulus package in July, and he reaffirmed the same a few days back.
In a briefing on Tuesday, McConnell said, "We're going to stay on the schedule that I announced earlier in the year." He also cleared that the discussions on the next stimulus check wouldn’t extend beyond July. "We will not be here in August," McConnell said, according to CNET.
There is no information of when in July we could get a decision on the next stimulus package. There are clues that the decision may come in the last week of the month. The Congress and the Senate will go on recess from July 3 to July 17. This means the Senate will have about ten days to discuss the next stimulus package.
Sen. Roy Blunt recently said that Senate members would use the July break to get information for the second coronavirus package. They will then use that information in the last two weeks.
"I think the timing is going to be just about right for us to know what we need to know for a package that moves us into August, September and October," Blunt said on Tuesday.
If the Senate takes up the second coronavirus stimulus package this month, then it would need to pass it before the August recess, starting from August 7.