While the dust is just settling after the first round of economic stimulus payments, we’re already hearing rumblings from Congress about a (possible) second round of checks. I first wrote about the possibility of a second stimulus payment in the context of a campaign speech delivered by Barack Obama.
It now appears that the idea is gaining steam, with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi saying “We will be proceeding with another stimulus package.” According to an AP Report, a new bill could include: additional tax rebates, heating and air conditioning subsidies for the poor, infrastructure projects, higher food stamp payments and aid to the states.
Pelosi went on to say that she “would hope that (tax rebates) would be part of any package.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was less enthusiastic, saying:
“The first thing we need to look at before we look at tax rebates is, what can we do to stimulate the economy? And that’s infrastructure development. That’s bridges, highways, dams, and to put massive amounts of money into an infrastructure for renewable energy.”
For their part, Republicans are proceeding with caution. For example, House GOP whip Roy Blunt said:
“To my Democratic colleagues who want this Congress take up a massive, taxpayer-funded ‘stimulus’ package, I offer them this piece of simple advice: the best way to stimulate our economy would be to take meaningful steps to reduce the price at the pump.”
And President Bush argued:
“Let’s see how this stimulus package works and let us deal with the housing market with a good piece of housing legislation, and the energy issue with good energy legislation, and the trade issue with good trade legislation.”
Either way, it’s unlikely that we’ll see anything in the way of new legislation until September when Congress returns from their summer vacation.