KEY POINTS

  • President Trump said he wanted another round of direct payments to Americans
  • “I support actually larger numbers than the Democrats," he said
  • Trump also wants Phase 4 to include incentives for Americans to return to work

President Donald Trump wants Senate Republicans to pass their version of the HEROES Act approved by House Democrats that provides larger direct payments to Americans, but does away with the enhanced unemployment benefits.

Senate Republicans still oppose the HEROES Act (Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act, or H.R. 6800), which will wind up costing $3 trillion. They've sat on HEROES for over a month, arguing over its cost.

Against this backdrop, Trump on Wednesday said he wanted another round of direct payments to Americans, but now wants to dole out more money than Democrats propose in their HEROES Act.

“I do, I support it, but it has to be done properly,” said Trump of Phase 4 of Congress's coronavirus response during an interview with Fox News. “I support actually larger numbers than the Democrats."

Under the HEROES Act, Democrats want a second direct payment of up to $1,200 for an individual, or $2,400 for married couples. There will also be an extra $1,200 per dependent to a maximum of three. Each dependent will qualify for a $1,200 payment. Trump, however, gave no ballpark figures for the huge amounts he wants Americans to receive in the next coronavirus stimulus package.

On the other hand, Trump is lukewarm toward continuing the enhanced unemployment benefits.

“We had something where they wanted where it gave you a disincentive to work last time,” said Trump. 

He said he wanted “larger” direct payments as opposed to larger unemployment benefits. 

“I want the money to get there quickly and in a non-complicated fashion.”

The president, however, wants Phase 4 to include incentives for Americans to return to work. Trump's statements seemed to indicate the GOP will oppose the move by Congressional Democrats to renew a $600 supplement to weekly jobless benefits set to expire at the end of July. This benefit is contained in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, signed into law March 27. CARES is Phase 3 of the coronavirus relief program.

“We want to create a very great incentive to work," said Trump. So, we’re working on that and I’m sure we’ll all come together."

The ruling allows publisher Simon & Schuster to print and distribute the 240-page book by Mary Trump, who dubs the US president 'the world's most dangerous man' The ruling allows publisher Simon & Schuster to print and distribute the 240-page book by Mary Trump, who dubs the US president 'the world's most dangerous man' Photo: AFP / MANDEL NGAN