White House officials are discussing a fourth round of coronavirus-related stimulus with congressional leaders — as much as $2 trillion in extra spending — that administration officials hope to have passed by the August recess, Fox Business reported, citing unidentified sources.
Exact details were not available, but the plan could include payroll tax cuts advocated by White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, but also aid to Democrat-controlled states such as California, New York and Illinois, Fox Business said.
Additional items would likely include infrastructure spending, an extension of unemployment benefits and liability protection for businesses to shield them from lawsuits when they reopen amid a possible “second wave” of infections from the coronavirus.
The report said administration officials believe the measures would drive the unemployment rate below 10% and bolster President Donald Trump’s reelection chances.
Unemployment fell to 13.3% in May, down from 14.7% in April. That remains well above the 3.5% rate before restrictions went into effect after the outbreak of COVID-19.
Fox Business quoted anonymous Republican congressional sources as saying Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is willing to trade aid aimed at the Democrat-controlled states for business liability protections.
If passed, stimulus spending aimed at re-energizing an economy decimated by government-imposed restrictions to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus would reach $10 trillion if programs enacted by the Federal Reserve are counted.
Fox Business said White House officials and spokesmen for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and McConnell had no comment.
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