Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday that Republicans want to send Americans a second stimulus check as part of the next coronavirus relief bill.
"Speaking of building on what worked in the CARES Act, we want another round of direct payments, direct payments to help American families keep driving our national comeback," McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said from the Senate floor.
The $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, passed in March, included a one-time $1,200 payment for Americans who make up to $75,000 per year.
- Higher earners got proportionally smaller checks up to an income level of $99,000 per year.
McConnell in his speech did not provide details on the size or scale of the promised second round of stimulus checks.
- But he has repeatedly hinted at capping the annual-income ceiling to qualify for the potential payments at $40,000.
- Republican lawmakers have previously resisted sending additional stimulus checks, including shooting down the Trump administration's request for a second round as part of the CARES Act.
President Donald Trump said in a July 1 interview on Fox Business that he supports a "larger" followup payment than the Democrats have proposed.
- Trump was apparently referring to the one-time, $1,200 check proposed by House Democrats in the HEROES act, a $3 trillion relief bill they passed in May.
- Other Democrats have advocated much more generous payments.
According to McConnell, Republicans' forthcoming coronavirus relief proposal will also include a second tranche of funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, which proved successful in paying smaller companies not to fire their workers but is running out of money.
- McConnell said Republicans would refund the P.P.P. "with a special eye toward hard-hit businesses."
Senate Republicans were expected to put out their legislation on Wednesday or early Thursday.
- Democrats have said they will only begin negotiations at that point.
- The two parties were reportedly far apart on the contents of the bill and also internally divided.