President Trump wants the federal government to send checks to Americans within the next two weeks to stem the effects of the coronavirus on the economy, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday.
“The president has instructed me we have to do this now,” he said at a White House briefing attending by the president. “Americans need cash now — and I mean now, in the next two weeks.”
Trump said there were four “and possibly five” ways “to get the money out and get it out quickly.” One way, a payroll tax cut, would not work quickly enough, the president said.
Mnuchin said not everyone would get a check. “I think it’s clear, we don’t need to send people who make a million dollars a check,” he said. “We want to make sure Americans get money in their pockets quickly, that small businesses have access to money.”
“I think we’re going to do something that gets money to them as quickly as possible. That may not be an accurate way of doing it. Some people obviously shouldn’t be getting a check for $1,000 but we’ll have an idea at the end of the day what we will be doing,” he said.
There were few details about the payments, but Trump said he expected to make a decision later on Tuesday. “We’re going big,” Trump said. “We want to go big, go solid.”
Senate Democrats, meanwhile, are rolling out an emergency plan to send thousands of dollars to Americans to protect the economy.
“A proposal ‘to provide immediate direct cash payments’ to individuals across the nation has been outlined in a circulating letter to the leaders of the upper chamber, a spokesperson for Democratic Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado told Business Insider on Tuesday.”
Under the plan, “a $2,000 payment would be initially administered under the proposed legislation. The government could provide even more if the respiratory illness COVID-19 continues to hurt businesses and consumers, with annual payments of up to $4,500 a person. The payment would be phased out for higher incomes, a Democratic Senate aide told Business Insider on the condition of anonymity.”
While the $1,000 number has been floating around for the last few days, Mnuchin said the amount of each check “may be a little bit bigger than whats in the press.”
The checks have bipartisan support. Democrats have pressed the idea, and on Monday Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) proposed giving every American $1,000 to cover expenses that will occur with most of America on lockdown.
The White House and Congress have moved quickly to craft two coronavirus spending packages, but President Trump is pushing another $850 billion stimulus, mostly in the form of tax relief measures, Fox News reports.
“Roughly $500 billion of this would be tied to a payroll tax cut, while $250 billion would come in the form of Small Business Administration loans and another $58 billion would be directed to the airline industry, among other measures,” reports Fox.
Late Monday, Trump posted a statement on Twitter assuring Americans that the government would “powerfully” support domestic industries hit hard by the coronavirus. “The United States will be powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly affected by the Chinese Virus. We will be stronger than ever before!” he wrote.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is talking up a $750 billion proposal that he announced Monday “to wage war against coronavirus and the economic crisis facing Americans.”
“As early as tomorrow, I will present a series of proposals to congressional appropriators that Senate Democrats believe should be part of the next bill to address the coronavirus,” Schumer said in floor remarks Monday. “In consultation with the ranking members of the committees of jurisdiction, we are proposing an immediate and initial infusion of at least $750 billion to wage war against COVID-19 and the economic crisis it is now causing.”
Schumer said his bill will include expanded unemployment insurance, assistance to small businesses, money for schools to adapt to remote teaching and cash for hospitals, which are expected to be deluged as the virus spreads.
Trump, last week, signed the first coronavirus-related spending bill worth $8.3 billion, and the House of Representatives passed a second bill on Saturday morning, which the Senate is expected to take up on Tuesday.
Author: Joseph Curl
Source: Daily Wire: Trump Wants Checks Sent To Americans Within Next Two Weeks In Virus Response