U.S. President Donald Trump delivers a speech following a tour of Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin, June 25, 2020.
Carlos Barria | Reuters
President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he supports another round of direct payments to Americans – and claimed he wants to give out more money than Democrats have already proposed.
“I do, I support it, but it has to be done properly,” Trump said when asked during a Fox Business Network interview at the White House whether he was in favor of sending another round of stimulus checks to blunt the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
“I support actually larger numbers than the Democrats,” Trump added.
The president did not, however, seem keen on continuing enhanced unemployment benefits.
Trump said last month that the U.S. will be doing a “very generous” additional stimulus package.
But it’s unclear at this point what form another round of relief will look like, as Capitol Hill remains locked in debate over what should be included in a so-called Phase 4 stimulus package.
House Democrats in May passed their vision for additional relief, dubbed the HEROES Act. The bill includes a second round of $1,200 direct payments to individuals, allowing for up to $6,000 per household, and would extend the $600 per week federal unemployment insurance benefit through January. That level of unemployment insurance is currently set to expire at the end of this month.
“We had something where they wanted where it gave you a disincentive to work last time,” Trump said in the Fox Business interview. “We want to create a very great incentive to work.”
“So we’re working on that, and I’m sure it’ll all come together.”
When asked to clarify if he wanted larger direct payments or larger unemployment benefits, Trump replied: “I want the money getting to people to be larger so they can spend it. I want the money to get there quickly and in a non-complicated fashion.”
Senate Democrats, led by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and Finance Committee ranking member Ron Wyden of Oregon, outlined a plan Wednesday to keep up the enhanced unemployment benefits until a state’s unemployment rate falls. Republicans opposed extending the hiked-up unemployment insurance, arguing it deters employees from returning to work.
“They wanted to make it too complicated,” Trump said, apparently referring to Democrats.
“Also it was an incentive not to go to work. You’d make more money if you don’t go to work. That’s not what the country’s all about,” Trump said. “We want to create a tremendous incentive for people to want to go back to work.”
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