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McConnell opens the door to another stimulus check for Americans

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said during a public appearance in Kentucky on Monday that a second stimulus check “could well be” a part of the next economic relief package.

McConnell opened the door to including another round of direct payments, saying that low-income people have borne a disproportionate share of the economic pain due to the pandemic. A Federal Reserve study published in May found that 40% of households earning under $40,000 a year had lost a job in March.

The Kentucky Republican singled out the hospitality industry in particular.

“I think the people who have been hit the hardest are people who make about $40,000 a year or less,” McConnell said. “Many of them work in the hospitality industry.”

McConnell’s remarks underscore the ongoing debate among Republicans over the scope of the next economic relief package in directly aiding individuals. And they mirror comments from White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, who said late last month that direct payments could be targeted toward “people who lost their jobs and are most in need.”

It’s not immediately clear, however, that McConnell’s comments reflect a new position he will take in stimulus negotiations. His office did not respond to requests for comment.

Read more: JPMORGAN: The coronavirus crisis has decimated one of the safest defenses long-term investors have against stock-market crashes. Here are 4 ways to pivot your portfolio now.

Under the CARES Act, Congress authorized direct payments of $1,200 to Americans earning under $75,000 a year, and the cash amount gradually decreased in size until eligibility was cut off at individual incomes above $99,000.

President Donald Trump backs another wave of direct payments for individuals, and the White House says it’s open to pushing that position in stimulus negotiations. It hasn’t unveiled a plan so far.

Democrats support another round of $1,200 stimulus checks for Americans, including for undocumented immigrants left out of the initial wave of payments. McConnell assailed that provision during a fiery Senate floor speech in late May.

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