Second COVID-19 Stimulus Checks: They Would Do ‘Economic Good,’ Republican Rep Says

covid-19 stimulus checks second round

Getty Will there be a second COVID-19 stimulus check, but what would it look like, and what is the HEALS Act?

A top Republican Senator made comments supporting the idea of a second COVID-19 stimulus check on July 20, saying, “I think when a person has a check in his hand… I think that’s going to do more economic good than if we dribble out $30 every paycheck.”

Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley made the comments to CNN’s Manu Ragu. He added, according to Business Insider, that a second stimulus check would do more for the economy than a payroll tax cut “because people are going to notice it and maybe take some action as a result.”

The Republican-controlled Senate is currently in negotiations over provisions in a second coronavirus relief package. The Democratic controlled House has already approved a relief package that includes a second round of COVID-19 stimulus checks, expanding the pool of people who would qualify to get one. However, the notion needs to make it through the Senate. Comments from top leaders on the GOP side, including President Donald Trump and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, have made it more likely that the Senate will pass some form of a second check, although the amount and threshold remain unclear. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested a $40,000 cut off at one point.

Grassley’s comments add to the chorus of voices supportive of a second check.

Congress returned to session on July 20. The week starting July 20, Senate Republicans are expected to introduce their proposal for a second stimulus relief package, which will give us the first concrete sense of their starting point on a second check and other issues, like extending unemployment benefits. The Senate goes into its Senate Recess on August 7, so that’s the date by which the plan needs to be approved. The Senate comes back into session on September 8, according to Forbes.

Here’s what you need to know:

President Trump Called a Second Check ‘Very Dramatic, Very Good’

President Trump Rally Hurricane Michael

GettyPresident Trump and Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

President Donald Trump previously said that he also wants a second COVID-19 stimulus check. However, as the Senate convened back in session, Trump focused his rhetoric on supporting a payroll tax cut.

Trump said recently, “We will be doing another stimulus package, it will be very good, very generous.” Asked if there would be a second check, Trump also said, “We are, we are” and said it would be “very dramatic, very good.”

According to Tom’s Guide, President Trump said he supports “larger numbers” for a second stimulus check

Mitch McConnell is the powerful Senate Majority leader who is controlling the process in the Senate. McConnell is now “predicting” that a second COVID-19 stimulus “rescue package” will happen, and he said it “could well” include second direct stimulus check payments to some Americans. According to Bloomberg, McConnell said: “We shouldn’t lightly add more to the national debt, but I’m predicting that we will have one more rescue package, which we’ll begin to debate and discuss next week.”

McConnell’s comments came on July 6 in Kentucky, his home state. McConnell said, “I think the people who have been hit the hardest are people who make about $40,000 a year or less. And many of them work in the hospitality industry.” He said the hospitality industry, hotels, restaurants, was hit hard. He added that the Senate will consider a proposal July 20.

Asked specifically whether there will be direct funding to individuals (a second stimulus check), he said, “could well,” and made the above comment, adding, “that could well be a part of it.”

Back in May, McConnell was sounding a different tune. McConnell pronounced the Democratic plan “dead on arrival” back in May.

Steve Mnuchin Says ‘We Do Support Another Round’

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GettyU.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks to members of the White House press corps during a daily briefing at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House August 25, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Other top Republicans have weighed in, supporting a second check. The Washington Post reported in late June that those voices include Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. He told CNBC that the White House wants another stimulus check to happen and said, “We do support another round of economic impact payment. We can get that into hard-working Americans’ bank accounts very, very quickly. The level and the criteria, we’ll be discussing with the Senate.”

Mnuchin spoke in favor of a second stimulus check at a GOP Senate luncheon. “He just said that when he went around the country, people came up and thanked him for it. It seemed to have made a difference to them,” Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) told reporters, according to The Washington Post.

On July 17, Mnuchin called on Congress to get a second relief package done by the end of July, saying, according to The New York Times, “We are monitoring economic conditions closely. Certain industries, such as construction, are recovering quickly, while others, such as retail and travel, are facing longer-term impacts and will require additional relief.”

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