What Donald Trump Has Said About a Second Stimulus Check

As Congress remains deadlocked over a new coronavirus relief package, President Donald Trump has unambiguously voiced his support for a second round of stimulus checks.

Lawmakers in Congress are still divided along party lines on the price tag attached to another round of relief. Republicans have put forth a proposal of $1 trillion, a modest figure that falls far short of the Democrats' initial bid of $3 trillion. While both parties have attempted to reach an agreement, neither has signaled willingness of moving to the middle. House Speaker Nancy Pelsoi has refused to continue negotiations unless Republicans agree to at least $2.5 trillion, an amount the GOP have rejected.

Trump supports more checks to Americans, that much is clear through a series of remarks the president has made during interviews, press conferences and speeches in recent months. His stance on the matter is expected as, according to political analysts, another round of direct payment would likely help his chances of re-election in November. But despite his ongoing public commentary, Trump has admitted he cannot administer the payments on his own—only Congress has authority to pass legislation to fund federal programs.

Still, here's a look back at what the president has said over the past few months about stimulus checks as the global coronavirus pandemic continues through September without an approved vaccine.

September 4

Trump on Friday told reporters during a press briefing that the federal government has $300 billion in unused coronavirus relief funds and encouraged Congress to distribute to the American people in stimulus payments.

"Now, we have $300 billion in an account that we didn't use, $300 billion," he said. "And we are willing to use that. I would be willing to release it, subject to Congress, and use that as stimulus money, and it would go right to the American people. So, we have $300 billion sitting in an account that we didn't need because things are going so well with the economy."

"All Congress has to do is say, 'Use it,'" the president added. "I'd like to use it without their permission, but I guess I'm not allowed to do that. I did ask that question. So Congress has to just say, 'Use it.'"

August 15

Despite his continued support for stimulus payments, Trump suggested during a press conference in Bedminster, New Jersey that citizens didn't need another round of checks.

"The country is doing very well right now," the president said. "We can live very happily with or without [another stimulus package.]"

"We've gotten everything we wanted and we've also gotten a great economy. All you have to do is take a look at these charts. Our economy is doing good," he added.

That same day, Trump tweeted: "I have directed [Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin] to get ready to send direct payments ($3,400 for family of four) to all Americans. DEMOCRATS ARE HOLDING THIS UP!"

While the tweet signaled immediate action, Mnuchin had previously announced that the IRS could quickly distribute the checks after Congress approves the legislation.

August 11

Shortly after stimulus talks collapsed last month, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany reminded reporters that stimulus checks were high on Trump's agenda, as well as funding to schools.

"The president would love to see the direct payments to Americans, the president would love to see the school funding," she said. "There are several items we would like to see happen."

July 1

When asked about his stance on a second round of stimulus checks, Trump told Fox Business Network on July 1 that he supported more direct payments. He went on to claim that he wanted to give Americans more money than the Democrats.

"I do, I support it, but it has to be done properly," the president said during an interview. "I support actually larger numbers than the Democrats."

Trump was then asked to state whether he wanted bigger checks or more funding for unemployment benefits. "I want the money getting to people to be larger so they can spend it. I want the money to get there quickly and in a non-complicated fashion," he responded.

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U.S. President Donald Trump takes questions after delivering remarks during a news conference at the North Portico at the White House on September 07, 2020 in Washington, DC. Tasos Katopodis/Getty