WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito says she expects an agreement on the next stimulus package within the next two weeks.
Negotiations stalled on the package Thursday between Senate leadership and the White House, Capito said.
“I would say that before Aug. 7 we would hope to have something out,” Capito said Friday on MetroNews “Talkline.”
There remain key pieces of the package unresolved.
Capito supports reducing the current additional $600 weekly benefit those who are unemployed have been receiving. The benefit runs out in the next week.
“We need to move (the amount) down so that at least whatever you’ll going to make working you’re not going to make more while being on unemployment,” she said.
Studies show that 70 percent of those unemployed nationwide are making more on unemployment because of the additional benefit and as many as 20 percent are making twice as much as they were when they were working before the pandemic.
“I just don’t think we need to extend this benefit until the end of December,” Capito said. “We’re going to end up keeping too many on unemployment who would otherwise be working and fully opening up our economy.”
Capito said there may be a way to stagger the additional benefit or increase the base weekly amount the unemployed receive. She said Friday she supports further benefits but not the current $600 level.
— MetroNews (@WVMetroNews) July 24, 2020
City, County revenue fix
It’s possible cities and counties could see money that help them replace tax revenue in the new package.
“It would give the governor the flexibility to push the money out to the cities and counties and use that for the replacement of their lost tax revenues. I think that’s one of the reasons Gov. Justice is holding the money (previous stimulus funds),” Capito said. “He’s been criticized for it but if you look where the greatest loss is it’s that tax revenue. That’s going to be a big chunk of that money (new stimulus money).”
Capito said there also continues to be discussion about what would benefit Americans most, another stimulus check or a payroll tax holiday.
“The direct payment that we did before ($1,400), I think had the desired effect at least early, again, the mechanism is in place and could be done quickly. I personally don’t think the payroll tax holiday gives us what we need,” Capito said.
Capito said she is confident the final package won’t be in the $3 trillion range the U.S. House rolled out a few weeks ago in the HEROES Act.
“We’re going to try and keep a lid on it because we’ve already spent $3 trillion. We know we are accumulating debt here so we need to look at targeted relief,” she said.