The next round of stimulus check payments could be “dramatic,” according to Donald Trump. The president talked about the upcoming stimulus package to reporters on Wednesday. When asked if Americans could expect a second round of COVID-19 payments, he replied, “I think we’re working on something that’s going to be very dramatic, very good.”
Trump went on, “I think we are looking at a Phase 4. Phase 1, 2 and 3 have been fantastic for people, generally…small business owners, also. But we’re looking at doing something else in addition.”
Questions have circulated in the last months about the potential for another stimulus check to be distributed to the American people. Democrats were able to pass the HEROES Act in the House, which would provide $1,200 in cash payments to individuals and extend the additional $600 per week in unemployment benefits until January. However, that $3 trillion package is not expected to pass the Senate. Trump has called the bill “dead on arrival.”
Many Republican Senators have indicated their lack of support for another stimulus check for the American people. With that said, the Trump administration has repeatedly signified interest in the potential for another check. Earlier this month, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the administration was “very seriously considering” a another round of stimulus checks for the American people. Neither Trump nor Mnuchin has indicated a specific amount that they want to distribute via stimulus checks to the American people.
The Next Stimulus Package Will Be Signed in Late July at the Absolute Earliest
The Senate takes a two-week recess starting on July 4. This means that the Republican-controlled body would only vote on the next stimulus package in the last two weeks of July at the absolute earliest. Since the HEROES Act has been roundly described as “dead on arrival” in the Senate, it’s likely that another stimulus package would have to be put forth for a vote in the House first.
Given all of the things that have to take place before another stimulus package is signed by POTUS (a House vote and a Senate vote, both of which can take weeks to occur), it’s unlikely that the fourth stimulus package will be approved by August.
Still, Trump officials are maintaining a fast timeline for the upcoming package. Kevin Hassett, a senior economic advisor to Trump, recently confirmed this timeline. He said, per the Wall Street Journal, “The president stated that we’re probably going to have to have some targeted help for the travel and leisure industry because that’s the hardest hit, and it’s going to be slowest to come back. Other pockets like that might emerge in July that we see that might require some targeted policies and we’re studying it.”
Though Hassett pointed out that many of the details around a fourth stimulus package are yet unknown, he maintained that “absolutely, 100 percent” there would be another stimulus package passed in the coming months.
Trump Has Floated the Idea of an ‘Explore America’ Tax Credit for Americans
During a roundtable discussion with restaurant industry leaders in May, Trump first brought up the idea of a tax credit for Americans which would incentivize them to participate in domestic travel in the next year. He said, “…Create an ‘Explore America’ — that’s ‘Explore,’ right? Explore America tax credit that Americans can use for domestic travel, including visits to restaurants. That’s a big deal.”
Here’s how the proposed “Explore America” credit would work: rather than receiving money directly through a check, direct deposit or debit card payment, taxpayers would be able to file for tax deductions for domestic travel expenses “incurred while traveling away from home in the U.S.,” Forbes reported. The proposal would offer tax credits for amounts over $50 spent at American restaurants, hotels and other businesses in the travel industry, according to Forbes.
Forbes first reported the $4,000 figure for the vacation credit. It is not clear how eligibility would be determined, but Forbes reported “the credit would cover up to 50% of a household’s total vacation expenses” up to $4,000.