- The Trump administration may get behind a new coronavirus stimulus package soon, if comments from US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin Wednesday are anything to go by.
- Mnuchin told senators the US economy “definitely” needs a new stimulus of some kind.
- House Democrats have already passed a new stimulus package that’s waiting on action from the Senate.
For a while now, it’s seemed like another coronavirus stimulus package would have a tough time making it all the way through both chambers of Congress and on to President Trump’s desk to be signed. That’s a function of Republicans’ reticence about the price tags associated with the already-passed coronavirus relief measures that wound through Congress, which implied that the coronavirus stimulus checks we all got would be one and done. Even though the need hasn’t gone away — and, in fact, the coronavirus crisis is still exploding, with recent data showing that the number of cases is actually rising faster than ever.
During a Wednesday appearance before a Senate committee, meanwhile, US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin dropped a hint that the Trump administration will probably support another round of coronavirus stimulus. In fact, he thinks the US economy “definitely” needs new such measures along these lines.
“I do think the economy is going to rebound significantly, but there is still significant damage in parts of the economy,” Mnuchin told the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, according to Bloomberg. “We’re going to use all of our fiscal tools to work with Congress” to “restore this economy to where it was.”
And, in a hint of what might be to come, Mnuchin added: “Whatever we do going forward needs to be much more targeted to the industries and small businesses that are having the most difficulty reopening as a result of COVID-19.”
For some context around what that means, remember that as time goes on we’ll be getting deeper into a presidential campaign season, so that will overshadow anything done along these lines. Trump, for example, could push for the most generous package, which could help him look productive to his base and likely voters. This comes after House Democrats already passed their own new coronavirus stimulus package that’s waiting on action from the Senate right now.
The coronavirus crisis, meanwhile, is continuing to ravage the US, with some states posting a string of record numbers in recent days. Tens of millions of Americans have also been thrown out of work as a byproduct of the economic pain and disruption caused by the coronavirus, which will only increase the need for any such additional stimulus.
The latest numbers from Johns Hopkins University also show that we’ll probably pass the 2 million infections mark sometime between now and the end of Thursday. And deaths in the US from COVID-19 are now approaching 113,000.