Mnuchin “Seriously Looking” At More Stimulus

Mnuchin second stimulus check

Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin (Photo by Kevin Dietsch – Pool/Getty Images)

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Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Trump administration is “seriously looking” at more stimulus.

Here’s what you need to know.

Will There Be More Stimulus?

During testimony on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Mnuchin shared his perspectives about what may be included in the next stimulus bill. Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) asked Mnuchin: “If you were king for a day, what would you put in the next coronavirus bill?” Mnuchin told the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship that he would consider stimulus in the following areas:

  • direct money to stimulate the economy
  • encourage businesses to rehire people
  • support for travel, leisure and restaurant sectors
  • address unemployment

Mnuchin noted that the economy already has started to recover and cited the most recent jobs report that showed a net gain of 2.5 million jobs. Future stimulus could take several paths, but Mnuchin did not provide details or dollar amounts. His reference to direct money could refer to a second stimulus check to the American people or could refer to funding for businesses in specific sectors of the economy that have been disproportionately impacted by Coronavirus.

Will You Get A Second Stimulus Check?

Mnuchin shared his perspectives on several hot topics, including:

Stimulus checks: “I think we’re going to seriously look at whether we want to do more direct money to stimulate the economy.”

Unemployment: “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.”

More Stimulus: “I definitely think we are going to need another bipartisan legislation to put more money into the economy.” 

Mnuchin didn’t say there will definitely be a second stimulus check. (To set expectations, don’t expect a second stimulus check). To date, most Republicans —citing the cost — don’t support a second stimulus check. This includes Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who is focused on other priorities to help stimulate the economy. For example, Senate Republicans and the White House could support a proposal from Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) to pay a return-to-work bonus as an alternative to extending $600 a week unemployment benefits. The House approved the Heroes Act, a $3 trillion stimulus bill that includes a second stimulus check of up to $1,200 for each individual and $1,200 for each dependent (up to three dependents). However, the Senate will not approve the Heroes Act in its current form.

Next Steps

Senate Republicans, in concert with the Trump administration, will draft the next stimulus bill. Mnuchin’s comments that the Trump administration is focused on economic stimulus and wants to encourage more hiring to target the unemployment rate. The Senate likely will not vote on the next stimulus bill until July. So, any stimulus — whether it’s support for small businesses, unemployment benefits or a second stimulus check — won’t be this month. McConnell said the next stimulus bill be the last stimulus bill and it will be smaller than the $2.2 trillion CARES Act.

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