The White House wants Congress to pass another stimulus package by the first week in August, before lawmakers head home for their annual summer recess, and to keep the cost at $1 trillion or less, according to Vice President Mike Pence’s top aide.
“I think we want to make sure that people that are still unemployed or hurting are protected but at the same time, we want to take into consideration the fact the economy is bouncing back and want to try to contain the amount of spending,” Marc Short, Pence’s chief of staff, said Tuesday in an interview with Bloomberg Radio.
“There’s obviously been a lot of stimulus put in the system over the last couple bills, and so the price tag for us would be that.”
The White House and lawmakers are set to intensify talks on a new package of virus-related stimulus this month, as they return to Washington after the Independence Day holiday. President Donald Trump and senior White House officials have said a payroll tax cut, liability reform, tax incentives for businesses to adapt to the pandemic and a potential back-to-work bonus are priorities for the administration.
Short said the White House views liability protections as “essential” for companies to bring workers back and fully re-open the economy.
The administration wants to be sure it’s “striking the right balance between income replacement on the one hand, and ensuring that we don’t have excessively high implicit tax rates on the return to work, on the other hand,” Tyler Goodspeed, acting chairman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, said in a separate interview with Bloomberg Radio.
Implicit tax rates can’t exceed 100%, he said, meaning it can’t be more lucrative for workers to stay at home. But any plan will require “not allowing a big blow to household income,” which is core to the economy, Goodspeed added.
The House is scheduled to begin its recess by Aug. 3, with the Senate following a week later. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he wants Congress to complete work on the next phase of stimulus by then.
“By that time table, we want to have a bill on the president’s desk,” Short said.
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