Second Stimulus Check: Larry Kudlow Says Possible Checks Should Go to People 'Most in Need'

Senior White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Tuesday that the Trump administration is actively considering backing another wave of stimulus checks that will be debated in Congress next month. Unlike the first round of economic impact payments available under the CARES Act, however, this second round of payments would target those Americans who are "most in need."

Kudlow told Fox Business there will be a "healthy discussion … about the next move regarding economic policy" following the July 4 recess, according to WKRN, and that "tax rebates or the direct mail checks" are still on the table. They are still in a "pre-decisional" phase, however, and they "want this to be a constructive package," Kudlow said. Although he did not further expand on the discussion being had, Kudlow did suggest that a second round of stimulus checks could tighten eligibility to encompass just those Americans who need it most. He said that another relief package should "target those to those folks who lost their jobs and are most in need," though he admitted that such an idea was "speculation on my part."

GOP lawmakers, who have shown carrying support for bringing further relief to Americans, have shown interest in tying a second round of stimulus payments to employment. In June, Rep. Kevin Brady, the top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, introduced the Reopening America by Supporting Workers and Businesses Act of 2020. The proposed bill, if passed, would allow Americans returning to work to keep the additional $600 a week in unemployment benefits, which is set to expire on July 31, for up to two weeks after returning to work, essentially giving them a $1,200 stimulus check, or, as Brady called it, "a $1,200 hiring bonus."

At this time, however, it is unclear what a possible second round of stimulus checks could look like. President Donald Trump has teased a "very generous" relief package would be coming shortly, and recent reports have suggested that he supports further economic impact payments. A senior administration official told The Washington Post that the White House may support a second round of checks that is smaller in value than the initial round of checks and would target low-income Americans. The president, however, has not yet come to a decision and it remains uncertain if congressional Republicans would back further stimulus payments.

Under the CARES Act, millions of Americans received $1,200 in stimulus payments, with joint filers receiving up to $2,400. Those payments, however, phased out at a certain income level and some Americans, including some dependents, were not eligible to receive them. With unemployment rates still at concerning levels and the economy struggling, lawmakers have expressed a need for further relief, with a number of stimulus packages being proposed.