On Thursday, The Hill’s Bob Cusack interviewed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and Mnuchin stated that he believes another coronavirus stimulus bill is “likely.”
“2.4 million new jobless claims of unemployment this morning, several Senate Republicans said yesterday they want to see some action now on the next relief package,” Cusack said. “Is another package necessary, and if so, when?”
Mnuchin replied, first noting that he’s “very sympathetic to the people who are not working at no fault of their own because we’ve closed down the economy.”
“As we slowly reopen the economy in a safe way, we’ll get people back to work. And in the current CARES package, there’s several parts of it that are designed to help those American workers,” Mnuchin added, mentioning the PPP loans, the $1,200 stimulus checks, and the additional unemployment money, which he noted needs to be adjusted so as not to provide individuals with “more than they made” while working.
We’re gonna carefully review the next few weeks. I think there is a strong likelihood we will need another bill, but we just have $3 trillion we’re pumping into the economy, and we’re gonna step back for a few weeks and think very clearly how we need to spend more money and if we need to do that.
Later in the interview, after discussing the PPP loan program, as well as the need for China to “be held accountable,” they spoke about ongoing unemployment.
“CBO recently has predicted that unemployment will be 10% plus this year into next,” Cusack said. “Do you agree with that prediction?”
“Well, let me just comment – and this is nothing against CBO, and this is nothing against the rest of the economic models – we’re in an unprecedented situation,” Mnuchin responded. “This unemployment was not a result of bad economic issues; this is a result of medical issues. So I think it’s very hard to predict.”
A lot of it depends on the reopening of the economy, a lot of it depends on, as we make advances in virals, vaccines, in testing, and people feel comfortable. So I think the the economic models, quite frankly, follow the medical models, and I think it’s too premature to predict those things.
Mnuchin then noted that he does believe the second quarter will be “dreadful,” but that as the economy begins to reopen, the second quarter will be shown to be the bottom of the barrel, and “the third and fourth quarter will be better.”
As the president has said, and I have said, with the great advancement in medical progress in killing this virus, we expect our economy will be great again next year.
Cusack pressed Mnuchin on his rosy fourth quarter predictions, asking him if he is now “tempering expectations.”
Mnuchin replied that he isn’t tempering, and that “when you come off of a low number of closing down the economy, you’re gonna have very, very big increases. So yes, I think you’re gonna see a very large, call it a gigantic, increase in the fourth quarter.”
According to the Labor Department, approximately 38.6 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits in the wake of COVID-19 business closures.
COVID-19 has infected over 5 million people worldwide, and led to more than 329,800 deaths, according to data from the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) Global Cases map. 1.9 million people have recovered.
In the United States, there have been more than 1.5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, and over 93,800 deaths. As of publication, 294,312 individuals have recovered from the virus.
The Daily Wire, headed by bestselling author and popular podcast host Ben Shapiro, is a leading provider of conservative news, cutting through the mainstream media’s rhetoric to provide readers the most important, relevant, and engaging stories of the day. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.