Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday hinted that a second round of stimulus checks could be part of the government’s next round of coronavirus relief that he expects to be passed by the end of the month.
“We do support another round of economic impact payments,” Mnuchin said in an interview with CNBC. “As soon as the Senate gets back, we’re going to sit down on a bipartisan basis with the Republicans and the Democrats and it will be our priority that between the 20th and the end of the month, we’re going to pass the next legislation.”
Mnuchin's comments come after President Trump last week expressed support for more direct payments to individuals, followed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who said on Monday that he supported checks targeted towards low-income families.
“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. “The hospitality industry, as all of you know, just got rim-racked — hotels, restaurants — and so that could well be a part of it."
Mnuchin said on Thursday he had a “very productive call” with McConnell, but didn’t specify if the next round of stimulus will have a lower income eligibility threshold.
“I’m not going to go into the specific details,” Mnuchin said. “The level and the criteria, we’ll be discussing with the Senate.”
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 Trump last week 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.
“I do. I support it, but it has to be done properly,” he said then. “And I support actually larger numbers than the Democrats.”