While Congressional Republicans have indicated that they would like to hold off on another coronavirus relief package, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says it is likely that Congress will have to pass additional relief measures.
“I think there is a strong likelihood we will need another bill,” Mnuchin said during a virtual event with The Hill, adding, “But we just have $3 trillion we’re pumping into the economy.”
He continued, “We’re going to step back for a few weeks and think very clearly how we need to spend more money and if we need to do that.”
Mnuchin’s comments come roughly a week after the House passed a $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill — which was drafted by Democrats.
However, Senate Republicans have signaled little interest in passing another massive spending bill right now.
Additionally, he said Congress needs to take time to assess how the previous coronavirus relief bills are working before moving forward with another one.
“We need to assess what we’ve already done, take a look at what worked and what didn’t work, and we’ll discuss the way forward in the next couple of weeks,” McConnell told reporters earlier this week.
The Democratic bill would provide hazard pay to frontline workers, $500 billion to state and local governments, and send Americans another round of direct payments.
On Monday, White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said he is not sure if another relief is necessary. Speaking to reporters, Hassett said, “I think it’s possible that we will see a strong-enough economy that we don’t need a phase four.”
“Additional fiscal support could be costly, but worth it if it helps avoid long-term damage and leaves us with a stronger recovery,” Powell said.
He continued, “We know that long periods of unemployment leave a shadow over the labor force and over our economy, over people’s lives en masse. We also know that waves of bankruptcies can weigh on economic activity for years.”