Trump Team Envisions Up to $1 Trillion for Next Stimulus Round
(Bloomberg) -- Trump administration officials increasingly expect to spend up to $1 trillion in the next round of economic stimulus, according to people familiar with the matter, though action on a measure is unlikely until at least next month.
While officials coalesced on that limit after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told them the bill could approach $1 trillion, President Donald Trump has not made a final decision. Trump has said he wants to include an infrastructure package and other measures in the next stimulus that would push spending beyond that amount.
McConnell has said that there are no plans to do a stimulus bill before the July 3 two-week recess, leaving action on any such measure after July 20.
The administration and lawmakers are under pressure to boost the economy, which was sent into a tailspin from measures adopted to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
More than 40 million people have lost jobs since states began restricting public activity in March. As a result of the pandemic, the economy will shrink about $8 trillion over the next 10 years, the Congressional Budget Office said in a report released this week.
Trump met with White House economic advisers Larry Kudlow and Kevin Hassett late Wednesday about the next round of pandemic stimulus, according to one person familiar with the meeting.
Spokesmen from the White House and McConnell’s office declined to comment.
In addition to infrastructure, Trump and other top aides have floated numerous provisions for the next stimulus bill. Those include changes to unemployment benefits, a back-to-work tax credit for workers returning to their jobs, a payroll tax cut, liability protections and tax deductions for companies for workers’ restaurant and entertainment expenses.
As business reopenings have picked up nationwide, Americans have continued filing for unemployment benefits, although those applications have slowed, according to Labor Department data released Thursday.
The House last month passed a $3.5 trillion relief measure with nearly $1 trillion in aid for states and local governments facing revenue shortfalls. That bill would also provide a new round of direct stimulus payments to individuals along with money for testing and contact tracing.
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