Mar 17, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Mnuchin: "We're looking at sending Americans checks immediately" during coronavirus crisis

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday that the Trump administration is discussing sending checks to Americans "immediately" to help cushion the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

Driving the news: Mnuchin, who has been working closely with bipartisan leadership on Capitol Hill to pass new legislation to provide coronavirus relief, announced a series of economic stimulus efforts at the White House designed to help small businesses, corporations and individuals.

What he's saying: "Americans need cash now," Mnuchin said. "And I mean now — in the next two weeks."

  • It's still unclear who would get money and how much, but Mnuchin indicated it would be aimed at those hurt most by the coronavirus outbreak.
  • "We don't need to send people who make a million dollars a year checks," Mnuchin said.
  • Some on Capitol Hill and liberal and conservative economists have called for direct government payments of $1,000 to every American adult. Mnuchin said the amount of each check "may be a little bit bigger than what's in the press."

Other highlights:

  • Mnuchin also announced that the government will defer up to $300 billion in tax payments, allowing individuals to defer up to $1 million and corporations to defer up to $10 million — interest-free and penalty-free for 90 days.
  • He said that the administration intends to keep financial markets open, but shorter hours may be necessary.
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