A White House official says that any second stimulus check that passes will come in a lower amount than the first, despite President Donald Trump's claims to the contrary. On Friday, economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters that the next round of coronavirus pandemic aid would not match up to the $1,200 check many people got earlier this year, according to a report by Fox Business. Specifics on the second stimulus check are still few and far between.
Kudlow said that any direct payments to individual Americans would be lower than those that passed before and that they would be targeted more towards lower-income people. The last stimulus check was worth up to $1,200 per taxpayer, with the amount descending based on income starting at $75,000. That was part of the $2.1 trillion CARES Act, however, and Kudlow said that the Trump administration hopes to keep this next stimulus package at $1 trillion or less. However, this flies in the face of what the president himself has said.
Trump told Fox Business that he wants the second stimulus check to include even more money than the first one. As the head of the executive branch, the president's job is only to execute the laws passed by legislators in the U.S. Congress and Senate. However, he has repeatedly indicated hope that a second stimulus check would help his re-election campaign.
The House has already passed a second stimulus check, but the Senate has not acted on it since mid-May. It would essentially create another stimulus check with the same guidelines as the first, except with eligibility for adult dependents, immigrants and other groups left out last time.
The stimulus check was worth $1,200 to anyone with a gross annual income of $75,000 or less. From there, the check was reduced by $5 for every additional $100 a person made — so, a person making $75,100 would have gotten a $1,195 stimulus check, a person making $75,200 would have gotten $1,190, and so on. The checks reached zero at an income of $99,000.
This time, the Senate reportedly intends to set the income threshold much lower at $40,000. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that he will not pass the House's bill and wants to write the second stimulus package himself. So far, the White House has not spoken for or against this measure specifically.
Kudlow said that the White House also wants the next stimulus package to include unemployment enhancements, as the additional $600 per week expires at the end of this month. Democrats have proposed extending that measure already, though Republicans have resisted. The Senate returns from a two-week recess next week, and reportedly intends to pass a stimulus package by the end of the month.