WASHINGTON — No matter how Americans end up using relief funds delegated to them from Congress , U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-South Dakota, said lawmakers are confident the funds will make their way back into the nation's economy "one way or the other."
In an interview Friday, March 20, Thune said how the funds will be spent is hard to say since many people are in staying in place in their homes.
"We think there are lots of people ordering things online, a lot are ordering food. Some of them may use it to pay bills -- one way or the other it’s going to get back into the economy and give it a shot in the arm," Thune said.
"It will restore some confidence in the American people, it serves as a bridge so we can get this behind us."
Thune said the White House thinks there may be a need for a second round of stimulus checks six weeks or so from now, "assuming that things are still where they are," he said.
"If things improve by then, we’ll evaluate that, the final decision is yet to be made on this," Thune said, noting that the amount of each check is still being debated.
The proposal Thune said could receive a final vote on by early Monday would send checks as large as $1,200 to individuals earning less than $99,000 a year. Those who did not earn enough to pay income tax would receive $600.
When individuals can expect to receive those checks, after a final vote, would be up to the U.S. Treasury Department and how fast the department can get those checks out, Thune said.
The amount for each check was determined by the amount of relief funds available and finding an amount that would be "meaningful" to an individual, Thune said.
U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., released a statement on this phase of the economic relief plan, saying that it's moving at "warp speed, as it should."
"Now is not the time for slow walking or procedural purity," Cramer said. "Today’s plan aims to stabilize the economy, help the American people with their finances, provide relief for small businesses and their employees, and continue supporting our health care workers. I am sure these are goals shared by our Democratic colleagues, and I urge them to take their seat at the table to get this done in a quick, bipartisan fashion and move on to Phase Four.”
As a public service, we’ve opened this article to everyone regardless of subscription status.