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Kevin Hassett, a senior White House adviser, said during a virtual summit held by The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday 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.
“There are a lot of things that really are necessary to make sure that once we open up that we actually lift off,” Hassett told the Journal’s John Bussey. “The odds of a phase four deal is something we talked with the president about last week. We even had a small group meeting this morning to talk about it. The odds of a phase four deal are very, very high.”
Hassett made similar comments during an interview with FOX Business on Friday, adding that the president has instructed his team to watch the numbers carefully to create a “menu of options” that are conditional on how the economy is performing.
“If we have another bunch of job numbers like we’ve seen, you know, going into July, then I could imagine it would be a much different phase four bill than if we had a whole bunch of months like April,” Hassett said.
Hassett added that the U.S. economy is rebounding way faster than most people thought possible.
However, Senate Republicans aren’t too eager to move quickly on new legislation in the immediate future. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said lawmakers need to take time to assess what worked, and what didn’t, from previous legislation.
McConnell did lay out some groundwork for what the legislation would not look like, saying it wouldn’t be a $3 trillion “left-wing wish list,” referring to the HEROES Act, which was passed by the Democratic-controlled House last month. Instead, McConnell said, it would focus on other policies to get the “economy growing again.”
The Senate majority leader also said he and the Trump administration is not in favor of including an extension of the $600 unemployment benefit expansion, which he said has deterred workers from returning to their jobs.
Some policies that 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.