As a spike in coronavirus cases across the country has prompted several states to roll back their reopening plans, there has been growing support in the Trump Administration to include another direct stimulus payment in the next stimulus bill. With fears of increased restrictions leading to more layoffs and economic damage, President Donald Trump has indicated his support for another round of stimulus checks in a number of recent interviews.
In an interview with Fox News on Wednesday, Trump said he wanted the long-awaited second round of stimulus payments to be larger than $1,200 checks issued by the CARES Act. "I support actually larger numbers than the Democrats, but it's got to be done properly," Trump said. "I want the money getting to people to be larger so they can spend it. I want the money to get there quickly and in a non-complicated fashion."
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow also said this week that the second stimulus package would "probably" include another stimulus check, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said during a press conference that the administration would "seriously consider" another round of payments. This was a quick reversal from Mnuchin's sentiment the week prior, in which he said the next stimulus bill would be focused on jobs and may not include a stimulus payment.
Current proposals facing lawmakers have included another direct payment as well as expanded unemployment benefits, a back to work bonus and additional supports for businesses. Support has also been seen in Congress for possible payroll tax cuts, infrastructure spending, business liability protection, and a tax credit for domestic travel. While Senate Republicans have been dragging their feet on voting on a second package, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell calling for a "pause" on spending in May, Republicans have suddenly expressed a sense of urgency in approving a package with just 11 days left in July to act between the Fourth of July holiday and the August recess.
"We need to get off our a— and get this done," Sen. Lindsey Graham said Thursday during an interview on Fox News about a new stimulus package. McConnell also said Tuesday the Senate will consider a second stimulus package in July, blaming Democrats for practicing "political theater."
"As you’ve heard suggested, I said back in March we would take another look at this… probably in July… take a snapshot of where we are, both on the healthy front and the economic recovery front, and decide at that point what needs to be done further," McConnell said in an address Tuesday. He continued, "That’s a prediction I can make about a bill that we’ll make a final decision on in July when we get back. I think it’s exactly the right time … to address this issue."