Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday presented the third part of the legislation intended to help the economy recover from the pandemic, built around payments of $1,200 to anyone with an income up to $75,000. The amount of the payment would decline as household income neared $99,000. There would be a $500 check for every child in the family, the Hill reports. The direct payments, backed early by Sen. Mitt Romney and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, are not universally popular among Senate Republicans. "Direct payments make sense when the economy is beginning to start," Sen. Lindsey Graham said Thursday. "It makes no sense now, because it’s just money. What I want is income, not one check."
Lawmakers are still negotiating the details of the payments, though as of now, the poorest Americans would receive less, per the Washington Post, with a minimum check of $600. Sen. Richard Shelby is among the Republicans who want to provide aid through unemployment insurance instead. "I personally think that if we are going to help people, we ought to direct the cash payments maybe as a supplement to unemployment," he said, "not to the people that are still working every day." President Trump has vacillated on the idea of payments to individuals, and supported a different approach Thursday on corporate bailouts. Asked about companies that have used their extra cash to buy back stock, Trump endorsed the government receiving a stake in the companies in exchange for aid. Comparing them with companies that invested the cash, Trump said, "Maybe I view that as a little bit differently than somebody that didn’t and somebody that built plants all over the United States." (Read more coronavirus stories.)