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Trump greenlights new stimulus

In an interview with Scripps today, President Trump committed to another round of stimulus for the American economy. The president would not commit to a definite amount of stimulus, but said it would be “generous.” Details would be a few weeks in the making, he said.

“We had this going better than anybody’s ever seen before,” Trump told Scripps’s Washington correspondent, Joe St. George. “We had the best job numbers, the best economics, the best economy we’ve ever had, and then we had the virus come in from China. Now we’re rebuilding it again. We will be doing another stimulus package. It’ll be very good, it’ll be very generous.”

It’s not clear if this round will include individual stimulus payments or just project funding.  

The Washington Post says that some congressional Republicans and some White House officials are skeptical of spending more money for stimulus.

Today’s announcement by Trump, however, largely commits the administration to at least trying to get something through Congress — and with an election looming, legislators will likely want to get something done for voters.  

At the very least, all parties will probably want to commit to some sort of an infrastructure package. Previously, Trump tried to get Congress interested in a $1 trillion spending plan that would invest in rural America, plus make funds available for city and state projects.

Roads and bridges, public transit, rails, ports, pipelines, dams, drinking water and sewer systems, and electrical and high-speed internet networks would all be included according to a proposal Trump made in February.

The plan would also include reforms in the permitting and regulatory process to help streamline projects.

GOP congressmen signaled at the time that they’d be against a big infrastructure plan, but that was before the COVID-19 necessitated federal spending to prop up the economy.   

Democrats will likely want to include extended unemployment benefits in any stimulus package. Previously, Democrats passed their own stimulus package that has never been seriously considered by Republicans.

“House Democrats passed a generous bill called the HEROES Act,” says CNBC, “which would include extending the extra $600 per week in federal unemployment benefits to January and sending another round of $1,200 stimulus checks worth up to $6,000 per family.”

However, top Trump economic advisor Larry Kudlow prefers direct stimulus checks and tax rebates.  

Trying to get all parties to agree the form of stimulus could prove to be the bigger challenge than agreeing more stimulus is needed.

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