Mnuchin Says Second Stimulus Check Will Be Jobs-Focused

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has thrown his ideas about the potential next stimulus package into the ring, saying he wants the next bill to be "much more focused on jobs" than the first round of payouts designated from the CARES Act.

In an interview with reporters at a luncheon Tuesday, Mnuchin said of a next stimulus package, "We're talking about a bunch of different ideas that we may need to do in another bill, and we want to take our time and make sure we're thoughtful. So whatever we do, it'll be much more targeted, much more focused on jobs, bringing back jobs and making sure we take care of our kids."

His comments came a day after President Donald Trump told The E.W. Scripps Company he was in favor of sending Americans another stimulus check. "We will be doing another stimulus package; it will be very good, very generous," Trump said. When asked how much people will receive with the next stimulus bill, the president answered, "You'll find out about it" and stated his administration would announce the next package within the next few weeks and that he thought the bill would be bipartisan.

Democratic leadership has also been in favor of another stimulus check, which they included in the $3 trillion HEROES Act that passed the House vote in May and is unlikely to pass in the Senate. In the HEROES Act, individuals would receive up to a $1,200 stimulus check and an additional $1,200 for dependents up to a maximum of $6,000 per family.

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Talk of a second stimulus package comes at a pivotal time for American workers, more than 45 million of whom filed for first-time unemployment benefits since March. With many of these people still out of work and receiving benefits even as many states reopen, plenty of others relied on the CARES Act, which included a $600 weekly unemployment benefit on top of state unemployment benefits. This additional payment is scheduled to end at the start of August, and there are no current plans to replace it.

Some members of Congress have suggested instituting a $450 Back-to-Work Bonus, which would theoretically encourage people to return to work. Still, others have pointed out that many unemployed people are actively seeking employment, but there are no jobs available. Other suggestions have also been proffered, such as payroll tax waivers, tax cuts for both businesses and individuals, a $4,000 tax deduction for domestic travel and massive infrastructure spending.