Two lawmakers see more required minimum distribution relief being included in the next coronavirus stimulus package.

Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and the ranking Republican member on the Social Security Subcommittee, said during an early May Zoom meeting held by the American Council for Capital Formation that he sees a “huge amount of appetite” among lawmakers to include more required minimum distribution relief in the Phase 4 stimulus package, which is being dubbed CARES Act 2.

The Problem Solvers Caucus, which Reed co-chairs, will be “taking the lead” on the RMD debate, Reed said. The bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus is now up to 50 members, Reed said.

“We are going to engage in our virtual Congress project where we actually can show you can use technology to debate some of these issues and be transparent with the American people,” Reed said.

“When you talk about minimum distributions and other type of protections for folks going through this [pandemic], and we see unemployment of 20% to 30% for the foreseeable short term, at least, that is a serious concern for people when it comes to their checking accounts and their ability to survive,” Reed said.

“I see a huge amount of appetite, if you would, by elected officials to recognize: ‘Yeah, the economy will come back online, but it’s going to come back online in phases; it’s also going to need cash flow reestablishment, it’s going to need liquidity because you’ve had all these disruptions through the entire system.’” A Phase 4 stimulus package “may be Phase 4, 5 and 6 coupled together,” Reed continued, plus “you’re going to need some stimulus activity in order to stimulate the economy fiscally,” namely via an infrastructure bill, which he said “is also on the table in a strong way.”

Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., signaled during a separate Zoom webcast held by the American Council for Capital Formation in early May, that RMD relief could likely come in the next stimulus bill to help address the massive withdrawals from retirement accounts taking place now.

“In response to the coronavirus, there were provisions put into the CARES Act that deals with pension issues,” Cardin said. “We are suggesting that perhaps we should be doing more, and that is, ease up on the required minimum distributions … people can keep more money in their retirement,” he said.

“That should be something we may be able to get done in a stimulus bill in the next couple weeks; it’s something we should take a look at.”

Washington Bureau Chief Melanie Waddell can be reached at mwaddell@alm.com.