President Trump met with his economic advisor on Wednesday to begin discussing the framework of the next relief plan. This is according to a White House source that spoke with Fox Business.
The coronavirus pandemic continues to cost Americans their jobs at a historical rate. Also, businesses suffer due to economic lockdown. This indicates that the next relief bill could be in the ballpark of $1 trillion.
According to Bloomberg News, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has met with Trump officials behind closed doors. McConnell discussed a $1 trillion price tag with the president. The White House seemed receptive. Although, Trump has reportedly said he wants to include an infrastructure package. He also wants to include other measures in the next stimulus that would push the bill beyond $1 trillion.
Other measures that may be included in the stimulus bill include changes to unemployment benefits. It also includes a back-to-work tax credit for workers returning to their jobs and a payroll tax cut. Changes to liability protections and tax deductions for companies for workers’ restaurant and entertainment expenses are also part of it.
“We are absolutely meeting this week,” said White House adviser Kevin Hassett during an interview with Fox Business. “We are going over what we think will be in the phase four deal, and we’re going to try to reform unemployment insurance so that the factor you suggested goes away.”
Plans for the New Stimulus Bill
A key point for Republicans in any new stimulus bill is the removal of the additional $600 in weekly unemployment benefits. This comes as they feel it is counter-productive to the goal of getting Americans back to work.
A recent study by the Congressional Budget Office shows that if the additional benefits are extended – as Democrats are pushing for – five out of every six workers would receive an unemployment benefit under the CARES Act that exceeds 100 percent of the weekly amounts they can expect to earn from working.
In a statement yesterday, Senate Finance Committee chair Sen. Chuck Grassley said “That’s unhealthy for the economy and it’s unhealthy for the individual,” Grassley said. “As we begin to safely re-open our economy, it should be the goal of Congress to get America back to work, while helping those who can’t in a more targeted and efficient way.”
Thus far the government has passed four relief bills totaling almost $3 trillion. Those aimed to help struggling Americans and jumpstart an economy that has been crippled by the coronavirus pandemic.
Both sides of the political aisle agree that we need another round of stimulus to further support a recovery from the pandemic. Although, the bill pushed through the House by Democrats carries a $3.5 trillion price tag with over $1 trillion headed to states and local governments to make up revenue shortfalls, a bill that McConnell called “dead on arrival.”
If a Republican plan is put together in the coming days, it won’t likely be voted on until late July at the earliest.
The Senate begins a two-week recess on July 3. Also, it isn’t scheduled to return to Washington until July 20, making that the earliest date the next stimulus bill would be passed.