GOP wary as Trump pushes new round of stimulus checks

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump's call for another round of short-term tax reviews for most taxpayers is only mildly endorsed by his GOP allies on Capitol Hill, but there is an early area of ​​potential agreement with Democrats like the House spokeswoman, Nancy Pelosi, on the next coronavirus bill.
In a broken Washington, this could be the basis for a victorious coalition, as lawmakers are heading for talks about the fifth and possibly final measure to relieve the corona virus before the November elections.
Trump told an interviewer on Monday that he was supporting another round of direct stimulus payments, similar to the $ 1,200 checks that were issued to most people earlier this year.
"Yes, we are," Trump said to a correspondent for Scripps TV stations. "We will make another stimulus package. It will be very good. It will be very generous."
On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin - the leading White House negotiator for the first package - and Trump's GOP allies were not in the running to support the idea.
"As we said earlier, we are talking about a number of different ideas that we may need to implement in another bill," Mnuchin said after lunch with Senate Republicans at which the subject was little discussed. Take your time and put it forward sure we are thoughtful. Whatever we do, it will be much more targeted and focused on jobs. "
Congress passed the first round of reviews in March, almost unanimously, under a coronavirus response law at a cost of nearly $ 300 billion. Both parties said aid was essential as the blocking of coronavirus almost brought the economy to a standstill. The unemployment rate is still high at almost 15% across the country, although retail sales have recovered.
The House Democrats are fully on board with another round, as they have included over $ 3 trillion in direct payments that brought them through the house in May. Despite Trump's support, views across the GOP are mixed.
"He always wanted a second round of stimulus checks, and probably with good reason," said Senator Ken Cramer, RN.D., who largely supported the idea. "What we are going to do next to something like that should be very targeted." , very specific to a restart, a real restart of the economy. ... I think direct contributions to individuals could be a nice, nice incentive. "
Skeptics of direct stimulus payments say that they are not targeted enough, but have an undeniable political appeal, especially if the elections are less than five months away.
Senate senior Republican Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Has made it clear that he does not want negotiations with Democrats and Pelosi over another COVID-19 response law to start next month.
Negotiations on legislation are likely to focus on providing another round of relief to states and local communities and expanding unemployment benefits - but not on the $ 600 weekly supplement passed in March.
"I would prefer to extend unemployment insurance, but in a more limited and targeted manner," said Senator Mitt Romney, R-Utah, who also wants adjustments to wage subsidies for businesses and for states and local governments to help with their rising Find budget deficits.
Most Republicans know that Trump's stance means that it's likely to be a no-brainer that another round of direct payments will come up against the upcoming bill despite their reservations. Senator Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Has rejected a reporter's suggestion that the Republicans are "fairly skeptical" of other stimulus checks.
"I don't think it has gotten so far as to say that," said Blunt.
However, several Republicans said they wanted to tighten economic stimulus payments to try to control costs.
"But we need targeted adaptation of any kind of stimulus measures if we really want to bring them to the people who are most injured," said Senator Thom Tillis, R-N.C.

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