Coronavirus

Second stimulus check: What do Trump's financial advisers say?

Donald Trump’s economic advisers are optimistic about a new stimulus bill being passed in Congress before August break amid the coronavirus pandemic.

USA
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Second stimulus check: What do Trump's financial advisers say?
Doug Mills / POOL EFE

President Donald Trump said last month that he was thinking about sending a second round of stimulus checks to Americans who are suffering economically amid the coronavirus pandemic. At that time his main focus was reopening the United States economy after weeks of being shut down to prevent the spread of the virus. Now the panorama has changed because many states have fully reopened and that has allowed lawmakers to focus on discussing the second relief package.

A top economic adviser to President Trump said that the White House is working on a new bill and they are very supportive about another round of checks to boost the economy as it starts to reopen across the nation. White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said the odds of “phase four” stimulus package “are very, very high.”

While the Republican-controlled Senate will most likely decline the HEROES Act proposed by the Democrats in May, negotiations would resume after 4 July congressional recess. The focus of the Democrats' proposal is providing another round of $1,200 per individual or sending a monthly universal payment of $2,000 to individuals who qualify for the remainder of the year.

Those two proposals are not in all likelihood going to be approved by the Republican-controlled Senate and the White House, whose focus is on boosting the economy as it reopens through help to businesses, not individual payments. President Trump was very pleased with unemployment levels decreasing last month and if the numbers going into July are similar or better, then according to Hassett the money will most likely be funnelled to businesses.

Unemployment numbers in the US

Trump held a press conference last Friday and was keen to share some good news amid the coronavirus pandemic and the protests over George Floyd’s death. Trump said that the month of May started strong as the economy had added 2.5 million jobs, bringing the unemployment rate down to 13.3% from 14.7% in April.

Based on those numbers Hassett believes that "there definitely will be another relief package, but one of the things the president has instructed the team to do is to watch the numbers carefully and have a menu of options that's conditional on how the economy is doing.”