President Donald Trump stated during an interview with Fox Business Network that not only does he support another round of coronavirus stimulus payments, but that he wants the direct payments to be even bigger.
“I support actually larger numbers than the Democrats.”
Trump, however, seemed less enthusiastic about continuing the enhanced $600-per-week federal unemployment benefits, which are set to expire at the end of this month.
“We had something where they wanted where it gave you a disincentive to work last time,” Trump said.
“We want to create a very great incentive to work. So, we’re working on that, and I’m sure it’ll all come together.”
Trump was asked to clarify on whether he wanted larger direct payments or larger unemployment benefits.
“I want the money getting to people to be larger so they can spend it,” he said. “I want the money to get there quickly and in a non-complicated fashion.”
While some leading congressional Republicans and senior White House officials have voiced their opposition regarding sending out more direct payments, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has hinted in the past that the Trump administration would be willing to sign off on another round of checks.
During a Senate hearing several weeks ago regarding Washington’s next coronavirus aid package, Mnuchin said: “I think we’re going to seriously look at whether we want to do more direct money to stimulate the economy. But I think this is all going to be about getting people back to work, and we look forward to working with the entire Senate on this.”
Meantime, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Congress may decide in the next few weeks if it will take up another round.
In May, the Democratic-run House passed a $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill—which essentially represents an opening offer in discussions with the Trump administration and the Republican-controlled Senate.
Other proposals include a $2,000 monthly payment through the end of the coronavirus pandemic, put forth by Sen. Kamala Harris, and a $4,000 temporary travel tax credit, proposed by the U.S. Travel Association.
To receive a direct deposit or a check, there will again likely be certain eligibility restrictions based on annual salary, age and U.S. citizenship or residency status.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.