Next stimulus package will be jobs-focused: Mnuchin

Mnuchin says 'bunch' of different ideas are being discussed

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin addressed the prospect of another stimulus package Tuesday, saying the Trump administration is discussing a number of different employment-focused proposals.

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At a GOP lunch event Tuesday, Mnuchin said the White House and lawmakers are taking into account a number of factors as they weigh potential legislation, including how CARES Act funds are being distributed and how the U.S. economy is responding.

“We’re talking about a bunch of different ideas that we may need to do in another bill, and we want to take our time and make sure we’re thoughtful,” Mnuchin told reporters. “So whatever we do it’ll be much more targeted, much more focused on jobs, bringing back jobs and making sure we take care of our kids.”

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Putting Americans back to work as the country continues the reopening process is a major focus for the administration. Prior to the pandemic, the U.S. had record-low unemployment rates – hovering around 3.5 percent at the outset of the year.

More than 45 million people have filed jobless claims since mid-March, and the unemployment rate has since ballooned to more than 14 percent as of April.

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While unemployed Americans can apply for a generous boost in unemployment benefits, lawmakers are conflicted over whether to continue that policy. Republicans have argued that the extra $600 has deterred workers from seeking out new employment. The administration has backed what it calls a “back-to-work bonus” as an alternative, which would provide an incentive for individuals to reenter the marketplace.

The president also appeared to suggest during an interview with The E.W. Scripps Company this week that there could be another round of stimulus checks on the way for Americans.

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As previously reported by FOX Business, senior White House adviser Kevin Hassett said during a virtual summit held by The Wall Street Journal last week that chances of a phase four stimulus package are “very, very high” – even if signs of recovery continue to manifest in the U.S. economy.

Some other policies the administration is considering include a payroll tax cut, a reduction in the capital gains tax rate, an expansion of full, immediate expensing, protections for businesses from coronavirus-related liabilities and a return of the full deduction for business meals and entertainment.

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