President Donald Trump appeared to voice support for a second stimulus check, claiming it would be "generous" without giving further details. He said the "bi-partisan" plan could be announced, "over the next couple of weeks." With plenty of hurtles remaining though, social media took Trump's words with a grain of salt and doubted that another economic impact payment could come.
On Monday, Trump spoke with Joe St. George, the national political editor and Washington correspondent for Scripps, who reminded him that people are still hoping to receive another stimulus check. Millions of Americans are out of work due to the economic crisis during the coronavirus pandemic, but the CARES Act signed in late March only included a one-time payment for taxpayers. In addition, the federal $600-per-week unemployment benefits will end on July 31.
Trump said there would be another payment. "We had this going better than anybody’s ever seen before," Trump told St. George. "We had the best job numbers, the best economics, the best economy we’ve ever had, and then we had the virus come in from China. Now we’re rebuilding it again. We will be doing another stimulus package. It’ll be very good, it’ll be very generous."
People need money now. They don't care about the economy and jobs from 4 and 5 months ago. They are losing protections from rent and bills. We need to look ahead. NOT back.— Molly 🖤💛🖤💛 (@RockinMissMolly) June 22, 2020
When St. George pressed Trump on how much the next stimulus package will be, Trump only said "you'll find out about it." As for when Americans will hear about it, Trump said "it's going to be over the couple of weeks, probably." The president also said the next package would be "bi-partisan."prevnext
Whenever he says, "A couple of weeks" it's always a lie.— Eric Bloom (@ericdbloom) June 22, 2020
Congress and Trump already agreed to multiple stimulus packages to help the economy weather the coronavirus crisis, but only the CARES Act included a direct payment to Americans. The one-time payment of $1,200 was sent to taxpayers who filed their 2018 or 2019 federal taxes and earned $75,000 or less. Couples who filed jointly received up to $2,400 and dependents under 17 received $500 added to the head-of-household's payment.prevnext
Trump CAN'T answer a simple question without going into his election rhetoric. He can't say yes or no, or a simple answer... It's always we're the best ever, everything is great, amazing.— Michael Anthony (@MichaelAnthnyJr) June 22, 2020
There have been several proposals going around Washington for a second payment, including the $3.3 trillion Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act passed by a narrow margin by House Democrats. The bill was instantly dismissed by Republicans and is not going to be taken up by the Senate. Republicans were not happy with the cost of the package, which included a $1,200 stimulus payment for all Americans, including those married to immigrants without a Social Security number.prevnext
Trying to buy votes now that his poll numbers are so bad. Were he leading in the polls there would be no stimulus.#AmericaOrTrump— Proudly Anti-Fascist (@econzot) June 22, 2020
If Trump really wants to get a new stimulus package with a direct payment done soon, he will have to push Congress to act fast. The Senate only has a few days until the two-week July 4 recess begins. When they come back, there is only two weeks until the August recess starts, and by the time they come back, many will be focused on the November election. In addition, the Senate could be working on the National Defense Authorization Act, which needs to be passed by the end of August. There could also be debates on police reform, inspired by the ongoing protests against police brutality and racial inequality.prevnext
As Forbes points out, Trump only specifically said a stimulus package would be announced soon, which could mean another package would not include a direct payment at all. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the next package must be the last. In addition, sources told Axios McConnell told Trump the next package must be less than $1 trillion.prevnext