Need for Second COVID-19 Stimulus Checks Labeled ‘Urgent’

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?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, attempted to apply more public pressure to Republicans considering whether to grant Americans a second COVID-19 stimulus check, labeling the need “urgent.”

Pelosi’s new comments came on July 15, 2020, as leaders in the Republican-controlled Senate pledged to take up a second stimulus package within days. Pelosi called a second round of checks “so essential.”

“This is urgent. They need to buy food. These are necessities,” she said of American families. “And when people use that money for necessities, they inject demand into the economy and create jobs. So it is a stimulus, but it’s more than a stimulus — it is a necessity right now.”

What are the chances it will happen, though? Whether a round of second checks will happen is looking more likely, although the amount is uncertain. Republican leaders have voiced more support for the idea lately. It’s in their hands because Republicans control the Senate, whereas Democrats control the House. Democrats have already passed their own stimulus relief plan calling for an expanded round of checks.

Here’s what you need to know:


President Trump Says Another Stimulus Package Will Happen & It Will Be ‘Very Generous’

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President Donald Trump is now on the record in support of a second stimulus package for the American people.

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.”

The Washington Post reported: “President Trump has told aides he is largely supportive of sending Americans another round of stimulus checks, expressing the belief that the payments will boost the economy and help his chances at reelection in November.”

Some other powerful voices on the GOP have indicated a second round might happen.

The Washington Post reported in late June that those voices include Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Larry Kudlow, director of the White House National Economic Council. They also include President Trump.

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.”

There’s lot more on the table, though. “I think we need to move from rescue and assistance to more long-term economic growth incentives,” Kudlow told Fox Business. “For example, the president mentioned payroll tax holidays for the workforce, he talked about capital gains [tax rebates], he talked about tax breaks for restaurants, entertainment, sports contests, he’s talked about tax breaks for tourism.”

Kudlow has told CNN there “will be a return-to-work benefit.”

At least one top Republican has floated making the second round of COVID-19 stimulus checks “back-to-work” bonuses instead. Back in May, Senator Rob Portman, D-Ohio, raised that idea.


Mitch McConnell Says Another Stimulus Package Will Be Carefully Drawn But ‘Could Well’ Happen

GettySenate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was initially cautious on the idea of another stimulus package. “You could anticipate the decision being made on whether to go forward in about a month,” McConnell said in early June. “And it will be narrowly crafted…”

However, his rhetoric has warmed up to the idea. By July, he was “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. The amount remains unclear.

McConnell has indicated a second package will “come soon” and said it will prioritize investing in “future generations,” but he didn’t explain exactly what that meant. He has advocated for COVID-19 liability shields for universities and corporations, according to Forbes.

It’s likely the package won’t take the exact form of the Democratic House HEROES Act, which McConnell pronounced “dead on arrival” back in May. “What you’ve seen in the House [from] Nancy is not something designed to deal with reality, but designed to deal with aspirations. This is not a time for aspirational legislation, this is a time for practical response to the coronavirus pandemic,” McConnell said at that time.

More recently, though, he floated the idea of a lower income cap. “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 in a news conference in Kentucky.

“It is going to happen, it’s just not going to happen yet,” Oklahoma Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe said, according to WFLA-TV. His comments came on June 26 after a GOP luncheon that focused on the issue.

However, he expressed caution as to the form the checks would take, saying, “What you don’t want to do is have a reward given to people who don’t want to work.” The station reported that a payroll tax holiday is also on the table, and a second round of stimulus checks would be passed by the Republican-controlled Senate in July, if it occurs.

According to Forbes, Inhofe also revealed, “the idea of a second stimulus check fueled two hours of discussion at the lunch,” and GOP Senators “were supportive, but working through details.” Forbes indicated that Republicans may be warming up to the idea of a second stimulus check round because President Trump is, which may be driven in part by concern over battleground polling numbers.

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