A second round of coronavirus stimulus checks will likely be included in the next stimulus package. Now, the question is how much the checks will provide, and for what portion of the American people. Senator Kamala Harris recently insisted upon the need for the government to provide long-lasting government relief to the American people for as long as the pandemic is taking place.
Harris said in an appearance on MSNBC:
Together, with Bernie Sanders and Ed Markey, I’m proposing that we have not just that one-time check of $1,200. Through the course of this pandemic and crisis, we need to give people $2,000 a month as recurrent payments—people below a certain income level—to help them and sustain them through these months of crisis so at the end of it, they can get back up on their feet instead of falling deep deep deep into the crevices of this crisis. And, it does not make any sense, to your point, when we have Republicans in Congress who are standing in the way of supporting working people who have recently lost their jobs—[and] have every intention of working—when we can get through this crisis and [they] just need help from their government.
The notion of a recurrent stimulus payment has little to no support from Republicans in Congress. However, it has received support from other politicians and economists studying the pandemic.
Here’s what you need to know:
A Group of Economists Wrote an Open Letter This Month Urging the Government to Provide More Financial Relief
A group of 156 economists has penned an open letter to the U.S. government, urging it to continue providing financial relief to the American people in the form of direct cash payments. A second, third and even fourth round of stimulus payments is “essential,” the group wrote, in order to hasten the country’s economic recovery.
The letter was published on July 11, titled “Open letter from economists on automatic triggers for cash stimulus payments.” The letter reads in part:
Regular, lasting direct stimulus payments will boost consumer spending, driving the economic recovery and shortening the recession. Right now, most Americans are just trying to keep their heads above water. The first round of economic impact payments were a lifeline that helped some get by for a few weeks — early research shows that people are spending the stimulus checks quickly and on essentials — but the worst is not over. Consumer spending accounts for about two-thirds of GDP, so reviving the economy will require sustained efforts to strengthen it. Even after businesses start to re-open and jobs begin to come back, there will be significant economic fallout, and demand will continue to lag if people don’t have money to spend. Regular direct stimulus payments tied to economic indicators will help families stay afloat and drive economic activity.
The economists pushed for a number of other measures, including extended unemployment benefits, enhanced SNAP benefits, additional child care funding and more. According to the Economic Policy Institute, approximately 11% of the workforce in America is unemployed and unlikely to get back their previous job in the near future.
Trump Has Pushed for a ‘Larger’ Second Round of Stimulus Payments; His Economic Advisor Has Pushed for the Opposite
The White House has not yet responded to the open letter by economists urging monthly recurring payments. However, President Donald Trump and his administration have indicated their interest in another round of stimulus payments — but it’s not clear how much the payments would be for or who would be eligible.
On July 6, Trump told Jessi Turnure, a reporter for Nextar Washington, “We are working on another stimulus package, and that will take place … very soon.”
In an interview with Fox Business’ Blake Burman earlier in the month, Trump said, “I support actually larger numbers than the Democrats, but it’s got to be done properly. I want 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.”
On the other hand, White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow recently said that far fewer Americans would receive a second round of payments in the Trump administration’s upcoming stimulus package.
Kudlow’s comments came during a session with reporters on July 10. He said the next round of direct payments for Americans will be less than the $1,200 provided in the first round and that the direct payments would go to a much smaller portion of the American people, according to Fox Business.