“I think the people who have been hit the hardest are people who make about $40,000 a year or less. Many of them work in the hospitality industry,” he said, according to NBC. “The hospitality industry, as all of you know, just got rim-racked — hotels, restaurants — and so that could well be a part of it.”
The status of the next round of financial aid related to the coronavirus pandemic has been in limbo for some time now, with House Democrats passing a $3 trillion bill that included more direct deposits and checks for individuals, but it didn’t go forward past that, with Republicans saying they initially wanted to see how previous financial aid plays out.
Recently, though, McConnell and President Donald Trump have signaled that they’d be open to further payments to individuals in future legislation.
McConnell said he’d be pushing his own version of another stimulus bill after the Senate returns July 20. He said he’d be “unveiling something which will be a starting point,” although he couldn’t say if it would be a unanimous passage like some of the earlier financial aid packages. One of his biggest priorities, he said, was passing something to protect businesses from legislation related to the virus.
“This is not just for businesses,” he said, according to NBC. “This is for hospitals, doctors, nurses, nonprofits, universities, colleges, K-12, so that people who acted in good faith during this crisis are not confronted with a second epidemic of lawsuits in the wake of a pandemic that we’re already struggling with.”
Previous stimulus payments faced criticism for sometimes going toward big businesses that didn’t need them and also, in other cases, dead people. There was around $1.4 billion sent out erroneously to deceased individuals as the government rushed to get funds out. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) said this situation outlined the inefficiencies in the system, and said it would be important to enact quick ways to fix this in the future.