Politics

Trump Administration Open to 2nd Round of Stimulus Payments

A second round of stimulus payments is on the negotiating table in Washington, but some of the 160 million Americans who got money the first time could be left out.

Instead, the Trump administration is pushing for a more limited approach. Thats more likely to garner Republican support in Congress, where lawmakers are expected to consider another economic spending bill in late July.

“Theres a lot of discussions going on. Probably, we would want to target those folks who lost their jobs and are most in need,” said White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow in an interview with Fox Business on June 23.

His remarks followed comments from President Donald Trump earlier in the week that suggested Americans would be getting a second round of checks that would be “very generous.”

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President Donald Trump, flanked by officials and business leaders, announces a national emergency with regard to the coronavirus in the White House Rose Garden in Washington on March 13, 2020. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

Congress included the first round of stimulus payments in the sweeping $2 trillion economic response to the pandemic passed in March. It provided for direct payments of up to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for families. Eligibility was largely based on income and excluded individuals earning more than $99,000 and married couples without children earning more than $198,000, for example.

The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service worked to send out the money through direct deposits, or as check and debit cards sent in the mail. They started going out in mid-April and have been disbursed to nearly 160 million people for a total of $267 billion.

The program got money into peoples hands quickly as unemployment soared. Combined with a boosted unemployment insurance benefit, the federal economic response more than offset the decline in earnings and, in fact, led to a decline in poverty, according to a report from researchers at the University of Chicago and University of Notre Dame.

But some economists say a targeted approach would be more effective.

The problem with the stimulus checks was that the aid was “mismatched” with the need, said John Friedman, a professor at Brown University who is tracking the economic impacts of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus with a Harvard-based team of researchers called Opportunity Insights.

While the first round of payments increased spending, most of the jump was from low-income households. That helped those families pay bills and buy groceries. But it didnt help them keep their jobs because the rich, on the other hand, cut back. That, in turn, hurt low-wage workers whose jobs are in wealthy zip codes, their research found.

Epoch Times Photo
People wait in line for help with unemployment benefits at the One-Stop Career Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, on March 17, 2020. (John Locher/AP Photo)

Giving the upper class more money isnt going to solve that problem if there is still a public health crisis and some people arent comfortable going out to eaRead More From Source