Wednesday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) discussed why he is “strongly opposed” to increase the coronavirus stimulus checks to individuals from $600 to $2,000. Congress initially agreed on a $600 payout, but President Donald Trump has been fighting for the checks to be $2,000.
Toomey said the economy “is in such a completely different place today” than in March when the CARES Act sent out $1,200 to individuals was passed. He noted that there was “33 percent economic growth in the third quarter,” so it is “not the same situation” as it was in the early stages of the pandemic.
“[I] just think our economy is in such a completely different place today than we were in March,” Toomey asserted. “In March, remember, we were in a full-blown almost complete universal shutdown. … In some manner of speaking, we just didn’t even have an economy for a brief time, and we felt like we needed to come in with massive, massive amounts of money to substitute for an economy. It was extremely broad; it was a meltdown.”
“Today, we’re in a totally different place,” he continued. “We had a 33 percent economic growth in the third quarter. We have come back sharply. We have cut the unemployment rate in half. It’s not the same situation. Now, we have got acute problems in certain industries and sectors. We know that — restaurant, travel, entertainment, lodging, those areas devastated people out of work, very grim prospects right now. But more broadly, the economy is in a recovery mode, so the idea that we’re going to send out $2,000 checks per person to households that have had no loss of income, that have — maybe have six-figure income — that makes no sense whatsoever to me. I mean, take a married couple with two kids. They both work for the federal government, have a combined income of $150,000. We’re going to send them $8,000 when they never even had the slightest reduction in their income? That makes absolutely no sense at all, so I don’t think we should do it.”
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