Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell once again expressed support for direct payments to Americans on Tuesday when he unveiled more details about the Republican proposal for additional coronavirus relief.
“Speaking of building on what worked in the CARES Act, we want another round of direct payments,” McConnell said from the Senate floor. “Direct payments to help American families keep driving our national comeback.”
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who has also expressed support for a second round of payments, said that they’re expecting a new stimulus deal by the end of July. Later on Tuesday, McConnell said he doesn't expect the bill to be done by next week in response to a question from Politico’s Jake Sherman.
McConnell didn’t provide details on whether the income threshold for the potential second round of checks will be lower this time. Earlier this month, he hinted that future stimulus checks would be targeted toward low-income earners who have shouldered the brunt of the economic fallout from the pandemic.
“I think the people who have been hit the hardest are people who make about $40,000 a year or less, many of them work in the hospitality industry,” McConnell said then. “The hospitality industry, as all of you know, just got rim-racked — hotels, restaurants — and so that could well be a part of it."
Under the CARES Act enacted in March, the government sent $270 billion in stimulus checks as of May 31 to over 160 million Americans.
Single adults with income up to $75,000 were eligible for the full check, while reduced checks were available for single adults who earned between $75,001 and $99,000. Married couples with income up to $150,000 got $2,400, while those earning between $150,001 and $198,000 received reduced checks. Parents of children under 17 received an additional $500 per child.
President Donald Trump also weighed in on the scope and size of another wave of direct payments. He indicated his support for another round of direct payments to Americans when asked by Fox Business News on July 1.
“I do. I support it, but it has to be done properly,” Trump said then. “And I support actually larger numbers than the Democrats.”