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Trump opens door to another round of stimulus checks, direct deposits

The president said in an interview the amount would be "generous" but didn't put a dollar figure on it.
Image: Stimulus check
Stimulus check issued by the IRS to help combat the adverse economic effects of the COVID-19 outbreak.Eric Gay / AP file

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump indicated Monday he's open to a second round of stimulus payments as the U.S. economy continues to reel from the coronavirus pandemic.

Asked in an interview with Scripps local TV news whether he's going to give Americans another round of checks, Trump responded: "Yeah, we are. We are."

"We will be doing another stimulus package. It'll be very good. It'll be very generous," Trump said.

When asked how much money it will be, he said: "You'll find out about it. You'll find out."

A White House official told NBC News a new round of direct payments is "part of something the economic team is studying," but added, "No decisions made yet."

In March, Congress approved up to $1,200 per person in direct payments for individuals making less than six figures to help cushion the blow of the pandemic. The IRS said early June that 159 million stimulus payments had been processed.

Last month, the Democratic-led House passed the $3 trillion HEROES Act that included another round of direct payments, but the Republican-controlled Senate has resisted, with leaders saying they want to wait to see what, if any, additional aid is needed. Trump has threatened to veto that bill over progressive measures his White House has decried as an "ideological wish list."

Some Trump economic advisers have pushed the president to reject any additional spending and focus on tax cuts and deregulatory measures they argue will aid the recovery after a better-than-expected May jobs report and a surge in retail sales.

"We shouldn’t be doing any more spending," said Steve Moore, a conservative economist who has counseled the president.

Asked what the next coronavirus stimulus package would include, White House spokesman Judd Deere said in an email, "Any phase four economic package must prioritize pro-growth economic measures that incentivize employers and our great American workforce to return to the labor market."

Earlier this month, Trump said he favors a payroll tax cut and will be "doing things for restaurants and various pieces of the entertainment industry, which will be an incentive, whether it's deductions or whatever."