President Donald Trump floated an idea Friday that he hopes might help speed up stimulus payments to Americans in need while Republicans and Democrats continue to be at an impasse regarding a deal that would provide a second relief package for the country.
According to the New York Post, he urged Congress Friday to approve stimulus checks “by redirecting $300 billion in unused coronavirus pandemic relief funds.”
The Post said Trump said he considered redirecting the funds himself, “but prefers for Congress to approve the idea.”
“We have $300 billion ready to go, all Congress has to do is say, ‘Use it,’” the Post reported he said at his press briefing. “I’d like to use it without their permission, but I guess I’m not allowed to.”
The report said Trump didn’t specify where that $300 billion would come from, exactly, but speculated that he was referencing unused business loan money that was approved in the $2 trillion CARES Act in March.
Trump’s idea came as Republicans and Democrats continue to fail to reach an agreement that would send stimulus payments to Americans who are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. The sides agree that a second payment is needed, but cannot agree on what that next package should look like.
Multiple reports, however, continue to indicate that, at least for individuals, a second round of payments will look very much like the first with $1,200 the likely base payment for many. Timing is key, though, with a recent CNBC report indicating that if Republicans and Democrats reach an agreement this month payments may not come until “October or later.”
Perhaps Trump’s idea could speed that process up.
“We’re willing to spend it, I’d like to get approval from Congress,” the Post reported that he said. “There’s a theory that I don’t have to do that, but I’d rather be up front and I’d like to get approval from Congress.”