Mnuchin, Powell Tell Congress US Economy Could Use More Stimulus

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House Democrats are continuing to push for a second round of $1,200 individual stimulus checks, CNBC reported.

The first round, sent out in March as part of the sweeping CARES Act, was intended to bolster people through the mass job losses of the pandemic. But since then, no further rounds of checks have been sent out.

Senate Republicans attempted earlier this month to push through a skinnier bill, with less spending in an effort to pass anything at all as the pandemic continues. That plan didn’t include more stimulus checks. The bill ended up failing.

On Tuesday (Sept. 22), at a congressional hearing with Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Democrats sounded off, with Texas Rep. Al Green saying the payments “must be made because the rent must be paid,” CNBC reported.

Green said if more individual payments are not made, people will be put at risk of evictions as rent continues to be due every month, CNBC reported.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan inquired of Mnuchin: “Yes or no, do you believe another stimulus check could help stabilize the economy?” Mnuchin responded in the affirmative, saying that “the administration does support another stimulus payment,” according to CNBC.

Mnuchin said a bill can’t pass without bipartisan support and that he and Powell would continue to work with Congress to get additional individual aid.

“I think you need to be very clear with the senators … that direct payments to individuals is critical to preventing economic collapse in our country,” Tlaib said, according to CNBC.

Democrats also asked about recent revelations that nearly 9 million people possibly hadn’t received the first stimulus checks, due to what the IRS said was incomplete government information. The checks were sent out based on tax filings from either 2018 or 2019.

PYMNTS reported that a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report clarified that the IRS had provided recommendations on how to get the payments out, such as extended tax deadlines. But the GAO said the IRS still needed to update the information on the amount of people still without checks. The IRS said its efforts had already helped an additional 7 million people get their payments later than the initial rounds earlier this year.

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