$70 Billion of Next Stimulus Package Will Go to Schools Reopening, WH Chief of Staff Says

Trump administration and top Republican congressional leaders offered few details about plans for a second stimulus package, but White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows confirmed Sunday that $70 billion has been set aside for schools to reopen.

Speaking to Fox News' Sunday Morning Futures, Meadows said congressional Republicans are set to unveil a second massive coronavirus pandemic stimulus package this week "somewhere in the trillion dollar range."

The White House chief of staff said both President Donald Trump and top Republicans want to make the reopening of schools the number one priority.

"There is going to be over $70 billion that this president has already authorized to work with Congress to try to make sure we not only keep the classrooms safe, but the students safe. You'll see a very broad five to six points in terms of what we'll be doing to make sure our schools are safe," Meadows said, although he did not elaborate on any of the proposed points.

"[The next stimulus package] will make sure moms and dads don't have to worry about the safety of their children who are going back to schools," Meadows added.

Republican officials told The Washington Post last week that $70 billion is aimed at elementary and secondary schools, while an additional $20 billion to $30 billion will serve as incentives for colleges and universities to reopen campuses. GOP officials have reiterated that the reopening of in-person schooling is beneficial to children's academic and emotional well-being.

Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who also appeared on Sunday Morning Futures, said it's imperative for Congress to provide schools with the tools to reopen. "We cannot have a whole generation that is uneducated," McCarthy said, noting that some school officials in Los Angeles and San Diego have closed schools "for the whole year."

Newsweek reached out to both the White House and McCarthy's Washington office for additional remarks Sunday morning.

McCarthy accused some governors of "holding up" stimulus relief package money from the first round and he would like to see the potential second package "go straight to the counties and cities."

During an interview earlier this month with Sunday Morning Futures host Maria Bartiromo, Trump said some lawmakers would keep schools and businesses closed indefinitely if they had the final say on the matter. "It's a political thing," the president added in the interview.

Both Meadows and McCarthy suggested "we overpaid on unemployment insurance" in the first CARES Act stimulus relief package, saying many workers are simply refusing to come back to work.

"There's $70 billion authorized to keep classrooms safe, teachers safe and students safe," McCarthy replied after Bartiromo said "it is a scary for parents to say we're going to send our kids back."

Congressional lawmakers have until the August 8 break for recess to finalize a second stimulus relief package for Trump to sign.

schools reopening second stimulus package
Trump administration and top Republican congressional leaders offered few details about plans for a second stimulus package, but White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows confirmed Sunday $70 billion is allocated for schools to reopen. ANTHONY DEVLIN / Stringer/Getty Images