This is the stimulus update for Tuesday, July 7th.
McConnell on Stimulus Checks
Big stimulus news yesterday, I made a dedicated video about it.
Mitch McConnell in response to a question about the possibility of another round of stimulus checks, and the next relief bill said that there could very well be.
Then he immediately started talking about how those who are hardest hit by the pandemic are those who make $40,000 or less.
WaPo’s Jeff Stein on McConnell
There was a tweet from Jeffrey Stein at the Washington Post.
Again, this is just what some reporter heard.
But he said, “McConnell didn’t just throw out $40,000 as a cutoff haphazardly — consensus within GOP is moving that direction, which would sharply limit eligibility.”
So at least according to this guy from the Washington Post, that 40k is not just McConnell’s opinion, but it seems to be a “consensus” within the GOP, at least according to Jeffrey Stein at the Washington Post.
Please take that with a grain of salt. He is just one individual person at the Washington Post making the statement, but I found it interesting and thought I would share it with you.
McConnell on Other Items
Also, at the press conference yesterday, McConnell was talking again about liability protections, we know he’s been talking about that for a few months now.
He wants businesses that reopened to be protected from frivolous lawsuits saying like, “Oh, I got coronavirus while I was at your business, or I was employed at your business.”
McConnell said, “Unless you’re grossly negligent or intentionally engaged in harmful behavior, you shouldn’t be penalized by getting sued on top of everything else.” So, that’ll be in there, I guarantee it.
McConnell has also asked about more aid to state and local governments, and he said, “That is another category we’ll be looking at.” So, really the only thing that McConnell has definitely said will be in the next stimulus bill is that liability protection, he put a guarantee on it.
Everything else seemed to be up for grabs, including stimulus checks, but I do take McConnell’s words yesterday as a good sign, with respect to stimulus checks being in the next round of coronavirus legislation. Albeit, it may be a bit more targeted than that first round was.
Mark Meadows on Next Stimulus
Yesterday White House chief of staff reconfirmed that Donald Trump is in fact very supportive of more stimulus checks, but he also said that other critical components must be incorporated at any forthcoming economic aid package to further alleviate the financial strain from the pandemic, such as payroll tax cuts, and incentives for manufacturing to return to United States from overseas.
If you remember Peter Navarro, what he said a few Fridays ago, his big thing was manufacturing.
He said a big focus of the White House with manufacturing. We haven’t heard a lot about that since then, other than what Mark Meadows said yesterday, where a big push will be for manufacturing to return.
But in terms of stimulus, Mark Meadows said that President Trump has made it very clear he’s supportive of another stimulus check.
We probably don’t need Mark Meadows to tell us that, because we have heard those words from President Donald Trump himself, but it’s good to know that this week the President hasn’t changed his mind on that topic.
I think it’s unlikely that Trump will change his mind on that topic because, hey, it’s an election year, and it’ll look pretty unpopular for him to say, “Hey, yep, I support another stimulus check,” and then to withdraw that support in a short time afterwards.
Mnuchin Leading Negotiations
There were some rumors that perhaps Vice President Mike Pence would lead the White House negotiations with the next COVID relief package, rather than Steven Mnuchin.
Because many Republicans in Congress saw Steven Mnuchin as too lenient with the Democrats, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Mark Meadows said that the White House negotiations, led by Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, will take place in the second or third week of July to address what the real needs are.
“The American Worker”
Meadows also said, “This will all be about the American worker.”
That is very interesting to me, and that’s consistent with what Republicans’ goal is. They are big on reopening the economy. Maybe a little too bullish on reopening the economy, and they want to focus on the worker, getting people back to work.
That’s why I think McConnell’s statement yesterday, he tied stimulus checks to workers in his mind.
What does this mean for retirees? What does this mean for those who are out of the workforce?
What does this mean for people who make $45,000 a year, who are not crushing it right now by any means? I don’t know.
We’re going to have to really see because all we have right now is just bits and pieces, but hopefully in the next couple of weeks we’ll see a more coherent package from the Republicans, a coherent bill, and McConnell did in fact say as much yesterday.
PPP Transparency (Again)
Let’s talk PPP for a second, I told you yesterday how you can access the PPP data. It looks like there’s a lot of large companies that actually did receive PPP loans.
We know that previously we saw that Ruth’s Chris got PPP loans, other large companies got PPP loans.
Companies like P.F. Chang’s in fact got PPP loans. There’s some drama right now that some members of Congress have an ownership or partial ownership of companies that receive PPP loans.
For example, KTAK Corporation, a Tulsa, Oklahoma based operator of fast food franchises owned by representative Kevin Hern received a PPP loan between one and $2 million.
This is a little bit scandalous because Hern himself wrote a letter advocating that the size of what PPP loans available to franchisees be increased, when he himself owned a corporation that owns restaurant franchises.
So you can kind of see how some people might think, well, there’s kind of a special interest there with respect to this guy.