Trump 'talked out of demanding $2k stimulus checks by White House aides' as Congress preps for $600 relief to Americans
DONALD Trump was "talked out of demanding $2,000 stimulus checks" as Congress prepares to send out smaller relief payments to hard-hit Americans.
On Thursday morning, the president tweeted that the stimulus talks are "looking very good" after it emerged that lawmakers could include $600 checks in their latest coronavirus relief package.
Reports indicate that initially, Trump wanted bigger relief payments for millions of Americans before he was talked down by frantic aides.
Two sources familiar with the situation told the Washington Post that during a phone call this afternoon, Trump declared that stimulus checks should be “at least” $1,200 per person and as high as $2,000.
He was actually drafting this demand in writing when staffers warned that this could "blow up" the Covid-19 relief negotiations when members of the Republican Party want the bill to stay beneath $1 trillion.
It's currently at the $900billion mark but a larger check to push that number over the trillion-dollar line.
A White House spokesperson told the Post: “The President has heard from Americans all over the country who are hurting through no fault of their own.
"He's made clear he wants the next round of relief to include stimulus checks at a significant number.
“We’re working with Congress to settle on an agreement that can pass as soon as possible.”
If a deal is reached this week, a vote may take place next week.
This is due to a procedural rule that requires a bill to be approved in smaller committees before it reaches the House or Senate floor for votes, a local CBS affiliate reported.
Once this has been approved, the bill will then need to be signed by Trump and following his signature, the Internal Revenue Service will begin to issue the payments.
The details were still being worked out, but lawmakers in both parties said leaders had agreed on a top-line total of about $900billion after months of talks, which have ground to a halt several times.
Currently, this package includes direct payments of perhaps $600 to most Americans and a $300-per-week bonus federal unemployment benefit to partially replace a $600-per-week benefit that expired this summer.
It includes the renewal of extra weeks of state unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless.
More than $300billion in subsidies for business, including a second round of "paycheck protection" payments to especially struggling businesses, are locked in.
So is $25billion to help struggling renters with their payments and provide food aid and farm subsidies, and a $10billion bailout for the Postal Service.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pushed back on Trump's call for larger checks earlier this month and suggested a package with none.
Last week, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin released a proposal which included payments of $600 to Americans – but afterwards, Trump indicated that this wouldn't be enough.
Trump told Fox News on Sunday: “Right now, I want to see checks — for more money than they’re talking about — going to people.
“I’m pushing it very hard, and to be honest with you, if the Democrats really wanted to do the deal, they’d do the deal.”
Trump previously urged Congress to approve a $2 trillion package despite significant opposition from the GOP, who do not want the amount to exceed $1 trillion.
Meanwhile, Mnuchin said back in August that the payments could be issued as early as one week after the Congress finally approves the amount.
"I can have them out immediately. So, if I could get that passed tomorrow, I could start printing them the following week," he said at the time.
"We did it the first time. I can get out 50million payments really quickly, a lot of it into people's direct accounts."
The $2 trillion Cares Act in March included $1,200 stimulus checks, which were stamped with Trump's signature.
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