COVID-19 Stimulus Check: Second Payment or $4,000 Travel Tax Credit?

Is the next stimulus check the last?

Getty Does the Senate's 'skinny' bill include another stimulus check?

Will the next coronavirus stimulus package include a $4,000 travel tax credit or a second stimulus check?

At this time, it’s still up in the air.

While Democrats are pushing for another round of direct payments, Senate Republicans have dismissed the bill that includes a second round of checks as “dead on arrival.”

Meanwhile, the Trump administration has said they are considering an “Explore America” tax credit that would incentivize tourism in the United States in light of the economic distress caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

There is no indication the Explore America Tax Credit has been proposed in the U.S. House of Representatives.


A “Dramatic” Phase 4 Stimulus Package

On Thursday, President Donald Trump revealed that a “dramatic” phase 4 stimulus package is in the works. The president did not provide details of the package but said it would focus on “business owners in general with an emphasis on creating jobs in the manufacturing sector,” according to AS.com.

Trump also said the White House was considering “something else.”

The HEROES Act, which proposes more direct payments for qualifying Americans, passed in the House on May 15 by a vote of 208 to 199. Next, it will undergo a vote in the Senate, where it will likely face opposition.

Nancy Pelosi, who is spearheading in the act, has said there is room for negotiation,  but what’s clear at this point is that the bill will not pass as is.

According to AS.com, it is believed that the next “phase 4” proposal will be closer to the $2.2 trillion CARES Act as opposed to a $3 trillion package.


“Explore America”

According to FOX8, in an interview with Nextar Broadcasting, Trump stated:

Phase 1, 2 and 3 have been fantastic for people generally… small business owners, also. But we’re looking at doing something else in addition. The economy is really starting to roar. We had the greatest job numbers in our history last month. We had great retail numbers … also the best in history. Up 17.7 percent … they were expecting 6 percent, 5 percent, maybe 7 percent then we were 17.7. So the economy is roaring back … the plague as I call it. The virus is abating … we know how to handle it. We know where to go and how to do it.

One of Trump’s suggestions is to help boost the tourism industry by offering a tax credit for Americans who travel domestically.

The “Explore America” tax credit would reimburse taxpayers up to $4,000 per household in vacation expenses spent in the U.S. at hotels, theme parks, restaurants and other tourism-related businesses through the end of 2021, according to Forbes. The credit could cover up to 50% of a household’s total vacation expenses and would be capped at $4,000 per household.

As Forbes points out, the pros of the travel tax credit include helping revive the travel, restaurant and tourism sectors of the economy, encouraging recipients to spend money to boost the economy and creating demand for more jobs. However, Forbes points out that this would be a tax credit instead of a direct payment.

According to Forbes, there is “lower likelihood for a second stimulus check.” A number of Senate Republicans, including Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah), have stated that the prospect of getting another direct stimulus payment is “unlikely.”

Romney said that, instead, Congress would be looking into unemployment benefits and “aid to states and cities and towns.”

READ NEXT: COVID-19 Stimulus Check: Who Has Not Received Money?


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