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."
- 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.