Stimulus Checks: Treasury Secretary Still Stands by Future Payment and Enhanced Unemployment

Americans are losing hope in the U.S. government to pass another stimulus check, but on Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin assured them that it is coming. In his testimony before a House subcommittee, Mnuchin said that he is still committed to seeing another stimulus package passed. According to a report by Forbes, Mnuchin noted that another stimulus check and more enhanced unemployment funding are "critical to the economic recovery."

Mnuchin was called to testify before a House subcommittee, which is investigating The Trump administration's response to the coronavirus pandemic, and whether or not officials knowingly put Americans in harm's way. While Mnuchin has clashed with Democrats over the $600 per week unemployment enhancement that expired on July 31, he claimed on Tuesday that he still sees the measure as vital. Mnuchin has sided with Republicans in both the White House and the United States Senate, however, saying that $600 per week is too much. Still, Mnuchin said he is willing to negotiate with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "any time."

Like many in his party, Mnuchin is now calling on the House to pass a smaller "skinny bill," which would include a stimulus check and a few other badly-needed items that both sides agreed upon. However, Senate Majority Mitch McConnell has said that he will only pass one more stimulus package concerning the coronavirus pandemic. Pelosi has held out for more because she believes she needs to make this package count.

"We will continue to work with the Senate and House on a bipartisan basis for a phase four relief package," Mnuchin said. "I believe a bipartisan agreement still should be reached."

Mnuchin has previously come under fire for his commentary about unemployment enhancements. At the beginning of August, he appeared on ABC News to say that many Americans were "overpaid" in the last program. At the time, the Republican plan would have cut the $600 per week down to $200.

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Mnuchin was criticized for calling unemployment payments "a disincentive to find a job," since millions of Americans had been laid off. He went on: "there's no question, in certain cases, where we're paying people more to stay home than to work. That's created issues in the entire economy."

ABC's Martha Raddatz' pushed back at the time, citing a Yale study that found the opposite — showing that people on unemployment did not make people less likely to seek new work. At the time of this writing, over 14.5 million American workers are collecting unemployment benefits.