Although further economic aid remains up for debate in Congress, President Donald Trump is continuing to back a second round of stimulus checks. As the House and Senate prepare to reconvene later this month to begin negotiations on what could be the final relief package amid the coronavirus pandemic, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on Monday reiterated the president’s own words that he supports sending more direct payments to the American people.
Speaking with reporters, Meadows said that Trump has been "very clear that he's supportive of another stimulus check," according to Newsweek, adding that other "critical components" must also be factored into the next relief package. Those components, Meadows said, include payroll tax cuts and incentives for manufacturing to return to the United States from overseas. Meadows explained that "want to make sure that we're addressing things in a real, systemic way, whether that is making sure that the take-home check for every American is greater with a payroll tax deduction, whether it's making sure that we provide incentives for American manufacturing to be brought back from abroad."
Meadows' comments follow several instances in which the president has voiced his support for more stimulus checks. Speaking with Joe St. George, National Political Editor & Washington Correspondent for Scripps, in June, the president teased that a "very generous" that would include stimulus checks would be on the way. Just days later, sources told The Washington Post that the president told aides he supported a second round of stimulus checks because he believes it will not only help the hurting economy, but also bolster his chances at re-election. Those reports were followed by Trump's interview with Fox Business last week, during which he said that he supports "actually larger numbers than the Democrats" when speaking of stimulus checks.
At this time, however, the topic remains controversial among lawmakers, with some standing by the belief that further financial aid is needed for the American people, while others have suggested that such relief is no longer necessary. Pointing to the June jobs report that was released last week and showed "great unemployment numbers," Sen. Bill Cassidy said that "if it turns out the economy is recovering, that's a good thing and direct stimulus checks might not be necessary."
Discussions regarding the next relief package are scheduled to resume when Congress returns to Capitol Hill later this month. At this time, there is no strict timetable as to when further relief could be passed, though it is believed lawmakers will make a push to conclude negotiations and approve a bill before their recess in early August.