Discussion Within US Government On Next Stimulus Package Heats Up As Current One Expires

Although President Trump wants “very generous” stimulus checks later on, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told the media that the next round of stimulus checks may be less than the previous one, and lower-income and unemployed American citizens will be given priority. Kudlow told Reuters that direct payments made to US households would “probably be very carefully targeted” and “it’s not going to be across the board.”

During the first round of stimulus checks, under the $2.2 trillion CARES act, 159 million households in the US were given payments. Adults with a gross income of $75,000 received $1,200. Married couples received $2,400, with an additional $500 per child. Due to the nation’s increasing deficit, prioritizing lower-income citizens on the next round could help keep the stimulus spend below $1 trillion.

According to FOX Business, American citizens with less than $40,000 annual income will be the recipients of the next round of stimulus checks. People within that bracket have been hit particularly hard, with 40% having lost their jobs since March 2020. 

Meanwhile, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi believes that a compromise on unemployment insurance and jobless benefit extension for Americans affected by the pandemic is possible. The top Republican in The US House of Representatives, however, refuted this, saying it would not be productive in light of statistics showing that many Americans are earning more from extended unemployment benefits than when they were at work.

The expiration of the extra $600 weekly unemployment benefit distribution, which was added to the one implemented in March, is set for July 31. This loss of a safety net for laid-off workers could take place before sustainable economic recovery occurs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, it’s likely that the extra stimulus checks could be extended or another type of additional unemployment assistance could be used in order to encourage people back to work. Some believe that the current federal unemployment aid would be extended but only for a small period of time while payroll tax waivers have been taken into consideration as part of the next stimulus package.

A bill for the president to sign will be ready by the end of July. “It will be our priority to make sure between the 20th and the end of the month that we pass the next legislation,”  said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin during a CNBC interview. He also said that jobs are the number one priority.

If  Mnuchin’s implications are anything to go by, direct payments will be expedited once the bill has been signed. He stated: “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.”