Second stimulus checks: Fed chair urges direct payments needed for recovery

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WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell warned that a tentative recovery from the pandemic recession could falter unless the federal government supplies additional economic support — including direct payments to most U.S. household.

The comments came Tuesday just hours before President Donald Trump halted talks with Democrats over an economic aid package and then tweeted he wanted a standalone deal focused only on $1,200 stimulus checks.

On Wednesday morning, the president tweeted directly at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “Move Fast, I am Waiting To Sign! @SpeakerPelosi”

Pelosi has regularly said she won’t support standalone stimulus bills.

In his speech to the National Association for Business Economics, Powell asserted that economic support from the government — including expanded unemployment insurance payments, a second round of checks and financial support for small businesses — has, so far, prevented a recessionary “downward spiral” in which job losses would reduce spending, forcing businesses to cut even more jobs.

But the U.S. economy still faces threats, and without further aid, those downward trends could still derail the recovery, Powell said.

Trump’s tweet Tuesday offered a more optimistic perspective.

“Our economy is doing very well,” he tweeted. “The Stock Market is at record levels, JOBS and unemployment also coming back in record numbers.”

Read the full transcript from Powell’s speech here.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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