Economy

Latest Economic Stimulus Package On Hold

The latest coronavirus stimulus package will have to wait until late next month, when Congress returns from recess, sources told CNBC.

On July 21, the Senate and House of Representatives are expected to be back on Capitol Hill. That’s less than two weeks before some programs under the CARES Act are set to expire, such as the $600 weekly federal jobless payments, the report said.

“We want to be careful at this point, seeing how much money is in the economy,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee on Wednesday (June 10). “A lot of the money is still not in it.”

On CNBC’s Squawk on the Street Thursday (June 11) Mnuchin said that at least $1 trillion of CARES funds have yet to show up in the economy but should surface in the next month or so.

In April, Congress passed and the president signed a $484 billion COVID-19 relief package. The bipartisan measure brought the total amount of money allocated by lawmakers to support Americans to $2.4 trillion.

CNBC obtained a breakdown provided to lawmakers by the Office of Management and Budget. It shows less than a third of the money allocated to pay for expanded unemployment insurance, hospital reimbursements and  Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster relief loans had been disbursed.

Of the $500 billion allocated by Congress to the Treasury for business loans, only $22 billion has been spent, the report found. That number is expected to rise soon as the Federal Reserve Board issues business loans under the Main Street Lending Program.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Fed Chairman Jay Powell said more stimulus is needed to restore an economy that could see high unemployment for several years.

“The labor market may have hit bottom in May,” Powell said. “We’re going to be here with our tools supporting this economy for as long as it’s needed.”

But Lawrence Alan Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council and a top White House advisor, and Mark Meadows, President Donald Trump’s chief of staff, are among the fiscal conservatives who oppose additional handouts.

Still, two senior administration officials told CNBC last month that if additional stimulus checks were needed, the president would approve them.

In May, total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 2.5 million as leisure and hospitality, construction, education and health services, and retailers added jobs.

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