WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Wednesday he wants the next coronavirus relief package to be “very generous” with direct stimulus payments to Americans that are potentially more than $1,200.
“It may go higher than that, actually,” Trump said in an interview with ABC affiliate KMID in Texas during a trip to the state.
“I’d like to see it be very high because I love the people,” he said. “I want the people to get it.”
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The president didn’t elaborate on how much he’s eyeing for the direct payments. When he left the White House earlier in the day, Trump said his priorities for this next relief measure are those payments and an eviction moratorium. He said Congress can take care of other issues “later,” acknowledging that Republicans and Democrats are “so far apart” on other major issues.
The Senate Republican stimulus plan released Monday proposes up to $1,200 per person for those with an income of up to $75,000. Democrats passed legislation in May that also includes $1,200 in direct payments, with a similar structure to what was implemented in March.
Negotiators from both parties signaled Wednesday, however, that they made no progress on a deal when they met for a third time this week.
“We don’t have an agreement on anything,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters after a meeting with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
Pelosi told reporters that Republicans offered the idea of a “skinny bill” that she said “does nothing” to address the coronavirus, which she said Democrats are not accepting. Pelosi and Schumer have been pushing for an extension of the $600 of unemployment benefits, which expire by the end of the week. Republicans, meanwhile, have proposed $200 a week which would transition to 70 percent of a person’s prior salary in October.