Trump calls on Republicans to ‘go for the much higher numbers’ on stimulus checks, opening the door to backing bigger direct payments

  • President Donald Trump urged Republicans on Wednesday to unveil a larger stimulus bill to shore up the coronavirus-ravaged economy.
  • “Go for the much higher numbers, Republicans, it all comes back to the USA anyway (one way or another!),” he said.
  • Negotiations between Democrats and Republicans on another stimulus package have been stalled for over a month.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump urged Republicans on Wednesday to back larger stimulus checks to prop up an economy still ravaged by the pandemic.

“Go for the much higher numbers, Republicans, it all comes back to the USA anyway (one way or another!),” he said in a tweet.

He also charged Democrats with being “heartless” and not wanting to provide people with another direct payment, despite the fact that measure was left out of the latest coronavirus relief proposal from the GOP.

A senior administration official told Business Insider that the president was referring to direct payments.

Read more: Morgan Stanley says the stock market’s future is ‘unusually dependent’ on another stimulus package — and recommends 5 portfolio moves to make if Congress passes another round

Back in March, Congress authorized $1,200 stimulus checks, plus an additional $500 per child under the age of 17. Republicans, Democrats and Trump all back additional direct payments in the next coronavirus relief package, among the few areas of agreement.

The GOP initially included a provision for additional checks in their spending package in late July. But that was not the case in their newest proposal.

Trump’s remarks come as Republicans and Democrats remain deadlocked on passing another economic aid package. Nearly 30 million Americans are still on unemployment benefits and many economists are warning of a “K-shaped” recovery where wealthy people at the top surge ahead and average people are left behind.

Pressure is mounting on lawmakers to act before they head back to their districts early next month for the October recess.

Sen. John Thune, the second-ranking Senate Republican, told the Washington Post’s Erica Werner on Wednesday the price tag of a stimulus package is “gonna have to stay in a sort of a realistic range.”

“I’m not sure what higher numbers, what that means. That probably needs to get translated for us,” Thune said.

Senate Republicans unveiled a slimmed-down stimulus plan last week that contained $300 billion in new spending for $300 weekly federal unemployment benefits — half of what Democrats sought — as well as small business aid and new education funding.

But Democrats blocked it, arguing the plan was “emaciated” and omitted many measures they sought such as federal assistance to states and rental assistance. They are seeking at least $2.2 trillion in new government spending.

A group of 50 House lawmakers introduced a bipartisan relief plan on Tuesday in a last-ditch effort to kickstart negotiations that stalled between Democrats and the White House last month. However, a group of Democratic committee chairs criticized it as inadequate.

Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently told Politico that Democrats should continue holding out for a wide-ranging stimulus deal from Republicans — one that includes direct payments, state aid, and significant public health funding.

View original article here Source