Senate Republicans are divided on whether to give Americans another round of direct stimulus payments, NBC News reports.
House Democrats included another round of payments to Americans in their $3 trillion stimulus bill. President Donald Trump says he supports even larger stimulus checks going out. But GOP members are either noncommittal or completely against the idea.
Senate Majority Whip John Thune said Republicans are divided on whether to send more money to Americans.
"About direct payments or some of the checks — that’s something he's talked about, and some of our members are interested in that as well. There are some of our members who aren’t interested in that, so we'll see where that goes," the South Dakota Republican said.
Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said he wasn’t “supportive of the first round. I don't think I'd be supportive of the second.”
“This is not a classic recession that requires financial stimulus,” he told NBC News.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said he is urging Senate Republicans to "get off their hands and finally work with Democrats to quickly provide additional federal fiscal relief." He endorsed the House bill.
Some GOP senators say they want to see how the economy is doing before committing to more payments.
Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., said the "direct stimulus checks are going to depend on how the economy is doing.”
He said June had “great unemployment numbers," referencing the unemployment rate falling to 11.1%.
"So if it turns out the economy is recovering, that's a good thing and direct stimulus checks may not be necessary," he said.
Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., said the Senate will "talk seriously and in earnest when we get back.”
Lawmakers left Thursday for a two-week recess.
Kennedy said he is concerned about the rising debt.
"If there is another bill, it will be targeted," Kennedy said. "Hopefully, we'll learn from our first three bills in terms of what works and what doesn't. The subtext, or the undercurrent, here at least on my side of the aisle is the fact that we owe $25 trillion and climbing.”
The first round of stimulus payments cost $293 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said the direct payment needs to be looked at along with the job numbers.
"We need to look at it, the jobs numbers. I want to see Iowa and how we're doing at getting folks back to work. And we'll take it from there," she told NBC News.
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