Trump, Congress weigh more coronavirus stimulus checks for Americans

Congress weighs how much and who to give to in a proposed second stimulus package.

U.S. President Donald Trump listens to questions from reporters following a meeting of his coronavirus task force in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump is weighing more stimulus checks for Americans as they endure the economic ramifications of the novel coronavirus.

READ MORE: Who gets a stimulus check and who doesn’t, and how should you spend it?

A $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill was approved by Congress and signed by Trump in late March. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced that there would be a one-time payment of $1,200 for most Americans who filed individual tax returns in 2018 or 2019. On Monday, the president said there would be more financial help coming.

“We could very well do a second round,” Trump said at a White House news conference. “It is absolutely under serious consideration.”

Trump’s statement came after he removed inspector general Glenn Fine, who was set to monitor spending from the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package. The decision was blasted by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who accused the president of undermining oversight by nominating Jason Abend, a senior policy adviser at U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

“The sudden removal and replacement of Acting Inspector General Fine is part of a disturbing pattern of retaliation by the President against independent overseers fulfilling their statutory and patriotic duties to conduct oversight on behalf of the American people,” she said in a statement.

Any potential money would further help small businesses and workers who have been adversely impacted by the pandemic. However, some Republican lawmakers have questioned if doing so would be effective, according to USA Today.

Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that any new legislation “will need to be tailored to the actual needs of our nation.”

Democratic leaders have embraced the idea of granting more stimulus money to those in need, including college students,  who are not eligible for relief in the current federal CARES package. Taxpayers making up to $75,000 who are eligible for benefits will receive a $1200 check and an additional $500 per child. 

For those who are filing jointly, the stimulus package allows for those households earning up to $150,000 to get $2,400. Those who are ineligible for a check are a single filers with  incomes over $99,000, head of household filers with one child whose income exceeds  $136,500 and joint filers with no children whose income exceeds $198,000.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also pushed for a plan that would aid essential workers who have been on the front lines, including health care, grocery and delivery workers.

READ MORE: Ohio Dem says Trump should face ‘crimes against humanity’ charges

“Thousands of workers report to the frontlines of our nation’s pandemic response each and every day, placing themselves squarely in harm’s way to serve the needs of others,” Schumer said.

His plan would increase pay for those workers up to $13 an hour, or $25,000 per year until the end of 2020.

 

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