On a phone call Thursday afternoon, Trump told allies that he believes stimulus payments in the next relief package should be “at least” $1,200 per person and possibly as big as $2,000 per person, the officials said. Congressional leadership is preparing a stimulus package that would provide checks of $600 per person.
Trump was in the middle of formally drafting his demand for the larger payments when White House officials told him that doing so could imperil delicate negotiations over the economic relief package, the officials said. Congressional Republicans have insisted that the relief bill remain less than $1 trillion, and it’s currently designed to cost around $900 billion. Larger stimulus checks could push the package’s total over $1 trillion.
Trump ultimately did not call for the larger stimulus payments. His only public comments on the matter came in the morning when he wrote that “stimulus talks [are] looking very good.”
“The aides were really frantic, saying, ‘We can’t do this. It will blow up negotiations,’ ” said one person who heard the exchange.