In discussions about the next coronavirus relief bill, Senate Republicans are showing reluctance towards a potential second round of stimulus checks, according to The Hill.
The first round of coronavirus relief bills saw a record $2.2 trillion pandemic budget signed into law on Mar. 27, with one-time payments of $1,200 for people with up to $75,000 annual income.
While the White House and the Democrats are supportive of another round of stimulus checks, Republican senators are hesitant to agree on the need for a second round, and several of them are firmly opposed to such suggestions.
“Well people in hell want ice water too,” said Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA), asked about another round of checks. “I mean, everybody has an idea and a bill, usually to spend more money. It’s like a Labor Day mattress sale around here.”
Sen. Ron Johnson(R-WI) was also opposed to a second round of checks. “I wasn't a real big supporter of that in the first round,” he said. “This isn't your classic recession.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) indicated that he did not support another round, and said the focus should be on reopening the economy instead.
“The real stimulus that’s going to change the trajectory that we're on is going to be the economy, not government checks,” Graham said. “So I doubt there will be another payment.”
Many Republican lawmakers hold the view that the Congress should wait and assess the economy as states gradually lift stay-at-home orders.
“We’re at a point where it’s going to be a discussion point. Because in Wyoming, we’re opening again, many communities are. It’s just a matter of how long it takes to really get the economy open again. If it takes too long, then we’re likely to have to do that,” said Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY).
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) added that the two-round approach was discussed during the initial negotiations in Congress, but Senate Republicans wanted time to assess if there should be another round of checks.
“I think we’re still in that assessment,” he said.
Meanwhile, the White House and Democrat officials are in support of more checks to Americans. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) are among the lawmakers who support the inclusion of a $2,000 monthly payments to citizens during the pandemic.