President Trump had expressed full support for direct payments of as much as $2,000 for coronavirus relief legislation. Information is from a person with knowledge of the matter.
The coronavirus relief proposal, which is currently under consideration by Congress, would cost around $908 billion. Unfortunately, it does not include stimulus checks. Nonetheless, Senators Josh Hawley and Bernie Sanders have pressed for direct outlays as part of any new relief package.
The Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley said he has spoken with the President concerning the issue on Saturday, which came out positive. President Donald Trump will likely support at least $1,200 in payments for individuals. He could even go higher, as he said in a statement, "I'd be surprised if he didn't support $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for couples." he continues, "My sense is that it's a very high priority."
Also, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) has spoken repeatedly to the President about the matter, including Tuesday afternoon. Hawley told Politico during one of their meetings that, "I said, 'I think it's vital that any relief include direct payments, and I'm not gonna vote for it if it doesn't.' And I also urged President Trump to veto any bill that did not have direct payments in it." Senator Hawley said the President heeded his argument and advised to veto any bill that lacks direct payments.
President Trump is backing up the second round of stimulus checks, even as several leading coronavirus relief bills leave out new direct payments to Americans. On Tuesday afternoon, Hawley said, after their conversation, "And President Trump indicated as much to me on Saturday night when I spoke to him about it. He reiterated it when I spoke to him today. "
A bipartisan group of policymakers continued discussions about their $908 billion plan. At the same time, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made a new proposal to Democrats to let go of arguments over liability shields and state and local aid.
On Tuesday afternoon, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke to Speaker Nancy Pelosi regarding the $916 billion coronavirus relief bill, which contains $600 payments to individuals.
None of those proposals has new direct checks mentioned but are in March's CARES Act. President Trump supports counting them in the next round of aid. Ben Williamson, a White House spokesman, confirmed and said in a statement, "While the amount is yet to be determined, direct payments to American workers continue to be a high priority of the president's."
READ MORE: US Jobless Claims Hit the Lowest in the Pandemic Era, Signals Rise in Employment Amid Crisis
Additionally, liberal legislators are joining Hawley's efforts, and House Democrats' preceding bills include new payments. And Hawley says Trump's support is gaining steam with Republicans, too, according to his private conversations.
Hawley said, "It's very much alive, and I think President Trump's support is a very big deal," and continues, "I can say with great confidence that he has been very supportive of direct payments, and I'd be surprised if that changed.