As discussions on Capitol Hill regarding another round of stimulus checks have been put on hold until later in July, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the Trump administration still supports another round of direct stimulus payments to Americans. The topic of further economic impact payments has been a central focus among lawmakers in recent weeks as Republicans and Democrats prepare to begin negotiations on what could be the final relief package amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In an interview with CNBC on Thursday, Mnuchin, who has stated that additional economic impact payments may be needed to help boost the economy, said that "we do support another round of economic impact payments." He added that "in most cases, those are not checks, it's direct deposits and we can get that into hard-working Americans' bank accounts very, very quickly," NBC News reports.
His remarks came when asked whether he supports direct payments only to people who make $40,000 or less a year, something that was recently proposed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and something that has faced scrutiny. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that capping the income level at $40,000 could leave many families who are in need suffering, stating, "I think families making over $40,000 probably need assistance." Mnuchin, however, refrained from commenting on the specifics of what the next relief package could look like, stating that "he level and the criteria we'll be discussing with the Senate."
Congress is set to reconvene on July 20. Mnuchin said that "as soon as the Senate gets back, we're gonna sit down on a bipartisan basis with the Republicans and the Democrats and it will be our priority to make sure between the 20th and the end of the month that we pass the next legislation." Should a bill be approved by the end of the month, it is believed that stimulus payments, if included, could begin being distributed in August. However, no lawmakers have yet commented on the possible timeframe.
Additional economic impact payments have proven a controversial topic among lawmakers. With coronavirus cases surging and the same cities and states pulling back on their reopening plans, some have stressed that further economic aid is now a necessity. In recent weeks, President Donald Trump has even voiced his support for another round of stimulus checks. However, lawmakers remain conflicted as to how much those payments should be and who should be eligible for them.