For months now, Americans struggling financially amid the coronavirus pandemic have been vying for a second round of stimulus checks. But is another round of direct payments on the horizon?
According to a Monday statement from White House economics adviser Larry Kudlow, President Donald Trump is supporting a revised stimulus package that would include a second stimulus check, CBS News reported.
On October 12, Kudlow said, “I don’t want to walk through the details because [Treasury Secretary Steven] Mnuchin and Speaker Pelosi will be on the horn this afternoon to negotiate the package.”
The current proposal, according to CNET, comes in at $1.8 trillion. The bill was dismissed by both sides of the aisle, and now, in the words of the outlet, “Trump’s camp is… urging Congress to divert funds from emergency coronavirus relief money into a standalone bailout bill — possibly for small businesses or the airline industry.”
Here’s what you need to know:
What Does the $1.8 Trillion Package Include?
The $1.8 trillion proposal includes a second $1,200 stimulus check (with $1,000 for qualifying child dependents), enhanced unemployment benefits at $400 a week, and $300 billion for cities and states, according to the Washington Post.
Whether or not that bill will pass is unclear. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows seems to think an overall stimulus package is unlikely.
Speaking on Fox News, Meadows said, “We’re still willing to be engaged, but I’m not optimistic for a comprehensive deal… I am optimistic that there’s about 10 things that we can do on a piecemeal basis.”
President Trump’s Targeted Legislation
On October 6, Trump said he would support a standalone bill for stimulus checks. This statement, however, seemed to contradict an earlier claim that all stimulus negotiations would be postponed until after the election.
In a recent article, CNET described the back and forth on stimulus package negotiations as “dizzying,” highlighting that in the course of just one week, Trump told legislators to come up with a bill, told his team negotiations would be postponed until after the election, said he’d support a standalone bill, then retracted those statements once again and “encouraged negotiators to ‘go big’ on a new stimulus bill.”
In her letter to House Democrats over the weekend, Pelosi wrote, “The news is filled with the numbers in terms of dollars. The heart of the matter is: can we allow the virus to rage on and ignore science as the Administration proposes, or will they accept the scientific strategic plan in the Heroes Act to crush the virus. We have other differences in terms of who benefits from the spending. But in terms of addressing testing, tracing and treatment, what the Trump Administration has offered is wholly insufficient.”
Republicans, too, have voiced skepticism about passing a bill with such a high price tag, according to BGR.
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