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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.

Go deeper

Supreme Court declines to hear case on qualified immunity for police officers

The Supreme Court on March 5. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal for a lawsuit brought against Cleveland police officers that challenges the scope of qualified immunity, the legal doctrine which has been used to shield officers from lawsuits alleging excessive force, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The doctrine has been the subject of scrutiny from civil rights advocates. Eliminating qualified immunity was one of the key demands of demonstrators during nationwide protests in 2020 following the killing of George Floyd.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Capitol review panel recommends more police, mobile fencing

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

A panel appointed by Congress to review security measures at the Capitol is recommending several changes, including mobile fencing and a bigger Capitol police force, to safeguard the area after a riotous mob breached the building on Jan. 6.

Why it matters: Law enforcement officials have warned there could be new plots to attack the area and target lawmakers, including during a speech President Biden is expected to give to a joint session of Congress.

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