As the financial fallout from the pandemic is set to enter a troubling new phase, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said a new coronavirus relief bill will include a second $1,200 stimulus payment for eligible Americans.
Kudlow made the comments in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday amid ongoing negotiations between lawmakers and the White House over how to support the American economy.
“I just want to add, Jake, I just want to add we are talking about employment benefits and so forth,” Kudlow said. “Don’t forget, there’s a $1,200 check coming that is going to be part of the new package.”
If a stimulus bill is passed, it would be the second direct payment sent to millions of Americans since the pandemic began. The original Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act paid up to $1,200 per eligible American adult. It’s unclear what income limits or other qualifications a second round of checks would include, although the previous payment went out in full to those who qualified and made less than $75,000 individually per year.
Kudlow called the upcoming draft bill a “very well rounded package” and said it would provide “a great safety net” until the pandemic eases.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Sunday that the Senate Republicans’ draft relief bill would be released Monday. He also mentioned a proposal for a second round of payments. The GOP bill is expected to cost about $1 trillion and will reportedly include an extension to some unemployment benefits and protections for businesses. The draft does not include the payroll tax cut that President Donald Trump wanted.
“The direct payments are a much quicker way of effectively giving everybody a tax cut, and is much quicker than the payroll tax cut,” Mnuchin told “Fox News Sunday.”
During the interview with Kudlow, Tapper repeatedly pressed him about the ongoing economic fallout linked to the pandemic, particularly in states that have been forced to rein in their reopening plans due to surging infection rates. But Kudlow pushed back, claiming the economy was improving despite the surge in COVID-19 cases.
“You’re in a housing boom right now. You’re in a retail sales boom right now. You’re in an auto, car boom right now. Manufacturing,” Kudlow said, later noting that in some hotspots there would be a limited recovery.
“On the whole, the picture is very positive and I still think the V-shaped recovery is in place,” Kudlow added.
However, with the initial round of stimulus benefits set to expire, millions of Americans are on the cusp of financial ruin. A survey by the Census Bureau said 22% of households don’t expect to be able to pay their next mortgage or rent payments and many are facing eviction in the coming months.
Kudlow also claimed the Trump administration was planning to lengthen the federal eviction moratorium amid widespread concern millions of Americans could lose their homes. The eviction ban, as well as an additional $600 in weekly unemployment benefits, expires on July 31.
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