“I think the people who have been hit the hardest are people who make about $40,000 a year or less,” he said.
President Donald Trump and others who were quiet about a second stimulus check have now begun giving favorable comments about that possibility. Although, there has been less certainty on the amount being proposed or who would receive the payments.
The $40,000 figure is indicative of McConnell’s intention of making the next round of stimulus more targeted. He has support from across the aisle, with Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Maryland, also recently speaking on a relief package geared toward lower-income citizens in the U.S.
"I think the next round we've got to be more targeted to those who are really in need. So I hope we can target this a little bit better to those who have been hit hard because of COVID-19," Cardin said of a second stimulus payment.
In his announcement Monday, McConnell said he would like to see perhaps the final coronavirus relief package include a five-year liability shield for businesses and checks for those making less than $40,000.
“This is not over. We had hoped we would be on the way to saying goodbye to this health care pandemic. Clearly it is not over,” McConnell said.
McConnell has remained steadfast on insisting that the next bill include liability protections for businesses, health care providers, universities and schools. Those protections could be in place through 2024.
The first stimulus check
In March, the CARES Act provided $1,200 checks to individuals making $75,000 a year or less, with smaller amounts going to people making up to $99,000 a year. According to MarketWatch, more than 128 million checks were distributed to Americans as of May − doling out more than $218 billion of direct payments to families and individuals suffering through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Democrats since then have called for much more generous new checks and have panned McConnell for inaction in recent weeks as cases spiked and weekly unemployment claims accumulated.
With McConnell’s statements on the new stimulus bill, it appears there could be some bipartisan support for relief for corporations and individuals. However, not all were as optimistic about McConnell’s statements.
“Senator McConnell’s monthslong refusal to engage in bipartisan talks on the next phase of federal relief legislation has created needless uncertainty and pain for millions of families who are still reeling from the public health and economic crises,” Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-New York, said Monday. “Instead of talking about writing a partisan bill in his office to help big corporations, Senator McConnell ought to be working across the aisle to prevent mass evictions, a new hunger crisis, and the layoff of more essential state and local government employees.”