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Trump is trying to push through new stimulus checks – here’s what you need to know

Published Jul 4th, 2020 10:33AM EDT
Stimulus check update
Image: Evan Vucci/AP/Shutterstock
  • There may finally be an official stimulus check update soon, with Congress appearing increasingly likely to take action on a new stimulus package later this month.
  • The latest indication of that being the case came in an interview South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham gave on the Fox morning show Fox & Friends, in which the staunch Trump ally said he fully supports the Senate taking action on a new stimulus package in a matter of weeks.
  • This comes, of course, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage, with its effect on public health continuing to drastically worsen — and create massive tremors in the economy, as a result.

South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham was emphatic in a new interview on the Fox weekday morning show Fox & Friends, leaving no doubts about where he stands on the prospect of Congress taking action on a new stimulus bill. “Just as soon as we get back, we need to get off our ass and get this done,” Graham said, referring to the Senate’s return from a two-week recess. “The bottom line here is we’ve got an opening, take it, it may not last.”

Graham happens to be one of President Trump’s closest allies in the Senate, and his support for quick stimulus action is yet another sign that the president’s assurance regarding a new round of stimulus checks was more than mere bluster. It’s a prospect, of course, that also comes against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic that continues to exact a terrible cost from the US — in terms of both public health as well as its devastating economic fallout, which is necessitating all this talk of stimulus in the first place.

Specific elements of a potential new stimulus package mentioned by Graham in his new interview include a payroll tax cut, which conceivably puts more money into the hands of consumers, as well as an infrastructure bill of some kind (to “give America a facelift with our roads, bridges, and ports that would set in motion future job creation.”)

Graham said he’s even willing to get behind an increase in the federal minimum wage as part of this new package. And then he dropped in a brief mention of something else that deserves more attention than it got in his interview. Let’s see if you pick up on it:

“Congress needs to act in July to continue this trend,” Graham said, referring to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics’ data showing that the US added 4.8 million jobs in June. “If we had the right kind of stimulus package,” he continued, “we would be going through the roof by October in terms of economic growth.”

That job growth last month was certainly good news and was a bigger increase than was actually predicted for June. Nevertheless, a painfully high percentage of the American population is still jobless right now, arguably making it all-the-more urgent that Congress presses forward with some kind of new stimulus relief soon.

But let’s return to Graham’s comments again for a moment — did you catch that timeframe he has his eye on? That’s quite an interesting month to mention (October) isn’t it? To have that as your north star in terms of why you want to race to improve the economy now so that things are a lot better by then.

Help me out here people, what happens one month after October?

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis 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.