- Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday that there was a high likelihood of another round of cash payments for Americans.
- He said they’d likely go to the same people as before, for the same amount.
- Democrats have pushed to include people who were left out of the first round, like students and adult dependents.
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As expanded unemployment benefits are set to expire amid a new increase in jobless claims, lawmakers appear to be nearing consensus with the White House about how to further aid the United States’ ailing economy.
In an interview with CNBC on Thursday morning, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said a Republican bill would extend a reduced level of federal unemployment income and include a second round of $US1,200 direct payments very similar to those sent four months ago.
President Donald Trump, who has pushed a payroll-tax cut in recent months despite little support from his own party, “wants to get money into people’s pockets now, because we need to reopen the economy,” Mnuchin said.
The Trump administration and Senate Republicans are quibbling over the next coronavirus stimulus. Here’s what’s in store for the final bill, including more checks, loans for small businesses, and $US100 billion to reopen schools.
“The president’s preference,” he added, “is to make sure that we send out direct payments quickly.”
Congressional Republicans have decried a $US600 weekly unemployment bonus, which is set to expire at the end of the month as the pandemic rages in the United States. About 70,000 new coronavirus cases were reported on Wednesday, with the death toll reaching over 142,000.
Democrats sought to continue the full $US600 unemployment bonus beyond July 31, as well as extend the stimulus payments to more people than included in the first round, like students and adult dependents.
There’s ample evidence that the expanded unemployment payments coupled with the stimulus payments helped consumer spending rebound earlier this year despite record unemployment. Research has found that the government aid helped to keep about 12 million Americans out of poverty.
Experts expect the unemployment rate, which stood at 11.1% as of mid-June, to remain high for much of the year.