Articles

A key Congressman says Washington is aiming for stimulus deal: ‘by the end of the week’

Washington, D.C., March 17, 2020
 
Ben Werschkul
DC Producer

Rep. Don Beyer (D., VA) is the Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee. He also recently self-quarantined following a positive COVID-19 test by a friend with whom he had recently dined with.

On Tuesday, he came on Yahoo Finance’s “On the Move” to give an update both on Washington’s economic response to the crisis and how he’s doing. 

In recent days Beyer’s quarantine ended but he missed a vote in the House last week for the most recent stimulus deal and he’s been staying close to home this week. “We're trying to model the behavior which we hope everyone will stay as socially distant and isolated as you can until we get over the hump,” he said.

“I took the dog around the block last night and not a single car passed me in 15 minutes,” he said about the environment in Virginia, which he represents. He added, “our friend, who was desperately ill a week ago, is now recovering, which is also a wonderful thing.”

On the need for more stimulus: ‘Urgent, all capital letters’

On March 6, President Trump signed into law an $8.3 billion emergency spending bill to begin to deal with the coronavirus crisis. On March 14, the House passed a phase 2 deal which the Senate is currently considering.

The next step would be a phase 3 deal.

“On the Democratic side in the House, we were on the phone for a couple of hours putting together all of the pieces,” Beyer said, adding they hope phase 3 will be ready “by the end of the week and then phase 4 after that.”

On Tuesday, Trump said "tremendous things are happening" in the talks between Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Capitol Hill for another deal.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin added Tuesday that the administration is looking into direct payments “immediately” as part of the deal

Beyer and other Democrats are likely to support such provisions. “I really like the idea of direct payments, I was glad to see Mitt Romney, among others, come out for that,” he said. “We need to put money into the hands of people that are consuming and will be missing paychecks right now, and you don't do that through a payroll tax cut.”

Ben Werschkul is a producer for Yahoo Finance in Washington, DC.