He also confirmed that the checks are likely to match the amount people got last time: $1,200 for most people who earn under $75,000 a year, with gradually reducing amounts up to those pulling in $99,000 a year, AP reported.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin made the comments after he and President Donald Trump’s chief of staff met with the staff of Republican senators at the U.S. Capitol, according to AP. Keep in mind, though, that the treasury secretary doesn’t have a vote on the final process. The second relief package has to make it through a vote in the Senate, which Republicans control, but they will need to work with Democrats to get there. They haven’t even formally unveiled their plan yet. However, Mnuchin is clearly an influential insider in a position to know where the GOP is headed.
“We’re prepared to move quickly,” Mnuchin said, according to MyFox8.
The article notes: “He also promised a fresh round of $1,200 stimulus checks would be coming in August.” However, Mnuchin also made it clear that extending the $600 extra per week unemployment benefit was not going to happen at that amount.
“We’ll get the majority of them out in August and those will help people,” Mnuchin said of the second stimulus checks.
Here’s what you need to know:
Republicans Will Formally Roll Out Their Version of the Package on July 27
Mnuchin’s comments over the weekend came as Republicans were expecting to reveal their version of a second relief package on Monday, July 27, according to ABC13. A previous draft plan published by the New York Times did show that they were planning a second round of stimulus checks, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also has indicated as much. Mnuchin’s comments have answered three questions many people have been waiting for, however: How much will people get and when and what will the eligibility guidelines look like?
According to The Associated Press, Mnuchin said that the $1,200 checks will set using the same guidelines as the first checks. The Democrats had tried to expand eligibility guidelines to include more people than the first round.
The Democratic-controlled House previously passed its own second COVID-19 stimulus relief package. The final version that will reach the American people, though, rests in the hands of the GOP-controlled Senate, which started negotiations over the package in earnest the week of July 20. The Senate goes into recess August 7, so to follow Mnuchin’s promised timeline, the Senate will need to act by that time.
Mnuchin said on July 23 that President Donald Trump wants to “send out direct payments quickly so that in August people get more money.”
Mnuchin also said on July 23, according to Fortune: “Our proposal is the exact same provision as last time.” That would make the checks the $1,200 figure for those making under $75,000 and who otherwise qualify, which would be a higher cutoff than the $40,000 floated recently by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The New York Times obtained a draft summary of the GOP proposal, which is still being debated. Remember that, although the Democratic controlled House approved a package, it has to go through the GOP controlled Senate to become law.
The draft summary says that stimulus checks “will be included” in the Republican version of the second stimulus relief package but that the amount and eligibility criteria are TBA. Trump has voiced support for direct checks.
You can read that summary here.
Mnuchin Called the $600 Weekly Unemployment Benefit ‘Ridiculous’
The treasury secretary was less optimistic about the extended unemployment benefits, calling the $600 weekly amount “ridiculous,” according to AP.
The AP reported that he said the amount will be extended but at a smaller amount because Republicans believe that $600 a week gives people a reason not to return back to work.
When it comes to stimulus checks, Forbes noted that it took the government 17 days to send out first stimulus checks after they were approved.