Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters at the White House he was confident that a second round of $1,200 coronavirus stimulus checks would be reaching Americans in August. At the same time, he criticized efforts to renew the $600 weekly aid for unemployed people, The Sun reported.
Mnuchin was fresh out of a meeting with President Donald Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows, where he says he was told that the president would be supporting a bill that provided stimulus money to anyone who was eligible to receive it the first time around.
He added that the “ridiculous” unemployment benefits boost was slated to be reduced but extended. He said that the $600 unemployment payout, in addition to the standard payout, was incentivizing people not to work.
“We’re prepared to move quickly” after the bill is passed by the House and Senate, Mnuchin said.
Mnuchin reiterated that the stimulus checks would likely be a mirror of the original payments, with $1,200 for eligible individuals up to a certain income cap, and a limit of $6,000 per family.
“We’ll get the majority of them out in August and those will help people,” he stated.
On Sunday, Mnuchin expanded further on the coronavirus relief package, saying that he believed a draft of the Republican bill would be made public on Monday, as Politico reported. He pushed back on reports that Congressional GOP members and the White House were conflicted over the latest rollout of government assistance.
“I think that’s an unfair characterization. The administration and the Senate Republicans are completely on the same page,” Mnuchin said.
“We had previously agreed on all these issues earlier in the week. We want to move forward quickly. The bill will be introduced Monday. And we’re prepared to act quickly.”
Democrats passed their own $3 trillion relief package in May, and they are insisting that the $600 additional payout to unemployed individuals be extended. The Trump administration is pushing for people who are out of work to receive 70 percent of their original income, instead.
“Workers and Americans understand the concept that you shouldn’t be paid more to stay home than to work, that the fairer thing is to replace wages,” Mnuchin said, adding that he believed it wasn’t fair to use taxpayer money to pay people “more” than they would receive if they were working to stay at home.
The relief package was delayed until the coming week as Republicans reportedly debated the details of the agreement.