Republicans want more direct stimulus payments, McConnell says

GOP leadership began discussions about another coronavirus stimulus package this week

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday said another round of direct payments would be included in a “Phase 4” stimulus package, as discussions began on Capitol Hill this week.

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“We want another round of direct payments – direct payments to help American families keep driving our national comeback,”’ McConnell said during a press briefing on the Senate floor.

McConnell did not offer any additional details Tuesday about who would be eligible for the payments or how large the checks might.

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However, both he and the Trump administration have indicated that they want an additional round of economic impact payments to be targeted more to lower-income and unemployed individuals.

McConnell has previously proposed lowering the income threshold for the payments to $40,000.

Under the CARES Act, the payments are $1,200 per adult for those with adjusted gross incomes of up to $75,000. The threshold for married couples is $150,000 – they are eligible for $2,400 and $500 per child.

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But the GOP has indicated it is hoping to keep the costs related to this relief bill lower, potentially around $1 trillion.

Republicans would have to reach an agreement with Democrats on the issue.

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McConnell also said a Republican-proposed plan would focus on putting Americans back to work, creating several specific incentives to hire and retain workers, as well as a “targeted second round” of Paycheck Protection Program funds “with a special eye toward hard-hit businesses.”

He reiterated that the main priorities for another stimulus package include health care, kids and jobs, as well as strong liability protections.

Lawmakers are hoping to reach a deal on a potential package before they leave for August recess.

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