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Trump says he wants to keep new stimulus checks away from this group of people

Published Sep 8th, 2020 1:59PM EDT
New stimulus check
Image: Jason Raff/Adobe
  • President Trump has floated an idea for how most Americans could get a new stimulus check quickly.
  • “Most” being the operative word, since Trump also stressed during recent remarks at the White House that he wants to make sure stimulus checks via the plan he’s proposing don’t end up going to “illegal aliens.”
  • The funding source Trump has identified is a pool of coronavirus-related funds that seemingly aren’t being used at the moment.

One of the major consequences of the fact that Congress has yet to finalize an accord on a new coronavirus relief package is the fact that means Americans don’t yet know when or if they’ll be getting a new stimulus check from the federal government. In fact, if the Senate does end up taking action on the new stimulus bill that’s been languishing in the upper chamber of Congress for a few weeks now, that state of affairs would continue. Because the bill that the Senate hasn’t yet taken final action does not include funding for new stimulus checks as part of the mix of benefits therein.

Enter a new idea from President Trump, who’s apparently found a pot of money not being used at the moment that he thinks ought to be re-directed to fund a new round of stimulus checks. One of his only stipulations is that the money not end up going to “illegal aliens.”

“They came into the country illegally, and now we give them a check?” Trump said during remarks at the White House Friday, per Newsweek. “We want to give the checks to the American people.”

Trump pointed to $300 billion in unused stimulus-related funds that were apparently originally intended to be used for small business loans. It was money stemming from the $2.2 trillion stimulus package Congress passed back in March, which included a $454 billion appropriation to cover losses from lending programs. Of that pool of money, $259 billion hasn’t been committed yet.

That appears to be the pool of funds Trump was referring to and is thinking could be repurposed to fund a new wave of stimulus checks.

“Now, we have $300 billion in a — an account that we didn’t use — $300 billion,” Trump said. “And we are willing to use that. I would be willing to release it, subject to Congress, and use that as stimulus money, and it would go right to the American people. So we have $300 billion sitting in an account that we didn’t need because things are going so well with the economy.”

The GOP-controlled Senate comes back into session this week, and one of the actions we could see is a quick vote on a so-called “skinny” stimulus package. The thinking being that if another multibillion-dollar stimulus bill keeps gathering dust and failing to garner enough support in the Senate, lawmakers think a pared-down, “skinny” version of the legislation might be a way to go, instead. But, again, it very likely might not include the necessary funding for new stimulus checks.

“Again, we have $300 billion ready to go,” Trump said during his recent remarks. “All Congress has to do is say, ‘Use it.’ If they say, ‘Use it,’ I’d like to use it without their permission, but I guess I’m not allowed to do that. I did ask that question. So Congress has to just say, “Use it.” All they have to do is say, ‘Use it,’ $300 billion gets immediately put into our system, and will really help the American people.”

Andy Meek
Andy Meek Trending News Reporter

Andy Meek is a reporter who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming. Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.