Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters that the White House is seriously considering another round of coronavirus stimulus checks for Americans on Thursday.
“We’re going to seriously consider whether we need to do more direct payments,” Mnuchin told reporters on Thursday. “Worked very well.”
President Donald Trump expressed support for more stimulus and potentially a second round of checks on Wednesday. At the Thursday morning briefing, Trump said his administration has started working on the next phase of stimulus. The details of the White House stance remain unclear.
Under the CARES Act enacted in March, the government sent $270 billion in stimulus checks as of May 31 to over 160 million Americans. Each payment is worth up to $1,200 per qualifying adult, plus a $500 bonus for children under 17. The act also added an extra $600-a-week in unemployment benefits that is set to expire at the end of July.
Mnuchin added that a second round of stimulus payments would be sent to “legal Americans” only.
The $3 trillion HEROES Act, which passed the House in May and has been held up in the Republican-dominated Senate, proposed $1,200 direct payment per individual with a maximum amount of $6,000 per household.
The payments under the Act would also have been available to those with Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) and their families. That means that more than 4.3 million adults and 3.5 million children would be eligible for the payment compared with the first round, according to ITEP.
In the first round of stimulus, people without a Social Security number and nonresident aliens — those who aren’t a U.S. citizen or U.S. national and don’t have a green card or have not passed the substantial presence test — weren’t eligible for payments.
On Thursday, Mnuchin said he’s discussing the need for future stimulus and is, “having conversations with certain members of Democrats and Republicans to get ideas.”
“Our position is that legal Americans — American citizens — should get the payments. That's our focus,” Mnuchin said. “If people are here illegally, they're not going to get economic payments”