White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Sunday said that the next federal coronavirus relief package will include direct stimulus payments to Americans and an extension on the federal eviction moratorium.
Kudlow, appearing on CNN’s State of the Union described the $1 trillion package set to be introduced by Republicans on Monday as “very well rounded,” saying it will include a $1,200 stimulus check, temporary and reduced unemployment benefits, funds to help schools reopen, $16 billion in funding for testing and tax incentives for companies to rehire employees.
“The check is there, the reemployment bonus is there. The retention bonus is there,” Kudlow said. “There will be breaks, tax credits for small businesses and restaurants.”
Congress is set to begin negotiations on the next round of stimulus as the eviction moratorium, which barred landlords from evicting millions of renters in public and federally subsidized housing, and $600 weekly unemployment benefits passed near the onset of the pandemic expired on Friday.
Democrats in Congress have called for a more expansive plan that would continue the $600 payments, while Republicans and Trump administration officials have called for a piecemeal approach to shorten the lapse in the programs and reduced benefits.
“Honestly I see us being able to provide unemployment insurance, maybe a retention credit to keep people from being displaced or brought back into the workplace, helping with our schools,” White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told ABC News This Week. “If we can do that along with liability protections perhaps we put that forward, get that passed as we negotiate on the rest of the bill in weeks to come.”
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Fox News Sunday that the administration is placing a focus on moving quickly through negotiations.
“With the $1 trillion package, there are certain things that have time-frames that are a bigger priority. So we could look at doing an entire deal; we could also look at doing parts,” said Mnuchin.
Mnuchin also reiterated that the Republican plan would alter the $600 unemployment payments to a package that would provide 70% wage replacement. He added that the bill would not include a payroll tax cut, which President Donald Trump has advocated for, saying that direct payments are ” a much quicker way of effectively giving everybody a tax cut.”
He added he was optimistic about the prospect of the GOP bill passing, noting that issues that are more difficult to reach an agreement on with Democrats could be included in future legislation.
“This will be the fifth set of legislation, so there’s no reason why we can’t have number five, six and seven as we need to deal with issues, and obviously anything we do, we need bipartisan support,” he said.
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