Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the Trump administration still supports second stimulus checks in the next stimulus package.
Here’s what you need to know.
On Capitol Hill today, Mnuchin said before the House Financial Services Committee: “The president and I remain committed to providing support for American workers and businesses. I believe a targeted package is still needed and the administration is ready to reach a bipartisan agreement.”
Mnuchin noted that President Donald Trump still supports $1,200 second stimulus checks for individuals and $2,400 for married couples and joint filers. Mnuchin, like Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, said that more stimulus is needed to spur economy recovery.
“Both employment and overall economic activity, however, remain well below their pre-pandemic levels, and the path ahead continues to be highly uncertain,” Powell said. “The downturn has not fallen equally on all Americans. Those least able to bear the burden have been the most affected.”
Pelosi also thinks a stimulus deal can happen
Congress may be at an impasse (and has been since August), but Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) still believe a stimulus deal can get done. How exactly a deal gets done remains unclear, however. Pelosi has said that Democrats are holding out for a larger stimulus deal and refuse to pass legislation on a piecemeal basis—even on areas of bipartisan agreement—as the Republicans have proposed. It’s unclear when or if there can be a larger stimulus deal.
Kudlow says economy recovery doesn’t require stimulus
Larry Kudlow, Director of the National Economic Council, somewhat contradicted Mnuchin and Powell on the economy’s need for fiscal stimulus. “I don’t think the V-shaped recovery depends on the package, but I do think a targeted package could be a great help,” Kudlow said on CNBC. While Mnuchin and Powell said that a stimulus package is necessary to spur economic recovery, Kudlow says that the economy could continue to recover without further economic support.
There are no clear next steps or path to a stimulus deal. Despite both parties saying they want a stimulus deal, there is no timetable or path to consensus. Democrats and Republicans in Congress remain at a stalemate, with the former targeting a $2.2 trillion stimulus package and the latter pushing a $500 billion (or possibly a $ 1 trillion) stimulus package most recently. On Saturday, Trump expects to nominate a Supreme Court justice to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has made the Supreme Court confirmation process the top priority before the election. That means that any glimmering hope for a potential stimulus package may be pushed to the back burner until after the November 3 election. Plus, members of Congress want to hit the campaign trail in October to defend their incumbency and support their favorite presidential candidate. While a stimulus deal could be finalized by party leaders, it’s more likely it won’t happen — if it happens — until later this year.
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