Treasury Secretary: New Stimulus Has Wins and Losses

Treasury Secretary: New Stimulus Has Wins and Losses

( – On Thursday morning, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin offered a behind closed-door preview of negotiations on the CARES 4 relief package with the Republican-led senate. Some will love it, and others may not like it very much.

One of the sticky issues between Republicans and Democrats is the enhanced unemployment benefit that’s set to expire next week. In early June, Democrats in the House passed the HEROES Act, which extended the $600-per-week payment through the remainder of the year. However, Republicans are concerned some people are making more money on unemployment than they are working. Mnuchin hinted the compromise might be a 70% wage replacement.

President Trump is supporting another direct payment to Americans. According to the Associated Press, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) wants another $1,200 per person cash payment. Earlier in the week, President Trump said he might not sign a bill that didn’t include a payroll tax cut. The treasury secretary confirmed it would not be in this bill. However, he said the administration would be pressing the issue with Congress, and that there could be a CARES 5.0 relief package. He didn’t offer any other insights regarding another round of stimulus before the end of the year.

The timing comes as COVID-19 increases its intensity in Florida, California, Arizona, and Texas. New unemployment numbers released Thursday show claims rose for the first time after 15 weeks of decline. Approximately 1.4 million people sought new unemployment benefits for the first time last week, as businesses either closed permanently or reduced staffing to survive the pandemic. Additionally, 975,000 self-employed and gig workers applied. Sixteen million workers are currently collecting unemployment benefits.

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