CORONAVIRUS

Second stimulus check: what did Mnuchin say about relief talks?

Steven Mnuchin, the US Treasury Secretary, appeared on Fox News to give a positive message on a 'more targeted bill' to help Americans and businesses.

Second stimulus check: what did Mnuchin say about relief talks?
GRAEME JENNINGS AFP

“The president and I couldn’t be more pleased with the way the economic plan is working,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin began his interview on Sunday with Fox News, much to the surprise of many Americans struggling with the financial implications of the coronavirus pandemic. And he went on to explain how talks on the relief package were going.

Stimulus checks: Mnuchin update

Speaking to the news channel’s chief political anchor, Bret Baier, on Fox News Sunday, Mnuchin pushed that “the president and I believe we should do more stimulus” as a means to getting more than 17 million people back into jobs and helping businesses. But asked where the sticking point came, he was clear about where to point the blame.

The speaker has refused to sit down and negotiate unless we agree to something like a $2.5 trillion deal in advance,” Mnuchin stated.

Targeted, not ‘skinny’ bill

Baier posed the question if Senate Republicans would move for a so-called ’skinny’ bill in the coming week, something Mnuchin preferred to call a ‘more targeted bill’.

“As you know, we put $3 trillion into the economy when the economy was completely shut down and we’ve now reopened the economy. Let’s do a more targeted bill now and if we need to do more in 30 days we’ll continue to do more, but let’s not hold up the American workers and the American businesses that need more support.”

Government shutdown avoidance

Mnuchin was also asked about the agreement made with the Speaker on government funding for a continuing resolution (CR).

"We both don’t want to do a government shutdown so we’ve agreed that we are going to do a clean CR," Mnuchin explained. “We’ll do this separately from the CARES Act negotiations.”

“I hope by the end of the week we can can begin moving forward with that, because that’s important to the American people.”

“We haven’t agreed on the specific details,” Mnuchin said when asked about how long it woudl keep the government going, but he believed that it would go "through the beginning of December.”

National debt management 'like a war'

As well as other topics up for discussion, including reports about Donald Trump calling fallen US troops ‘losers’, Mnuchin also considered the challenge of addressing the national debt.

"Before we got into Covid I thought the debt was very manageable," he said. "This is like a war. In a war, you've got to spend whatever you need to spend."

Election stimulus | President Donald Trump has a vested interest in American households feeling positive about government actions.

"Once the economy is back, we will focus on this issue."