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Trump tells Treasury Secretary to send checks to Americans, ‘We have to do this now’

U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin. (Kevin C. Downs/New York Daily News/TNS)
March 17, 2020

President Donald Trump has ordered Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to find a way to get money into the hands of Americans, especially those who are in need of an income boost thanks to the spread of the coronavirus. Mnuchin said he thinks a final plan will be in place by the end of the day Tuesday and could be announced soon.

“The president has instructed me we have to do this now,” Mnuchin said.

The announcement came during a press briefing Tuesday at The White House. While details are very limited Trump and Mnuchin hinted that the actual amount of money distributed to Americans could be much higher than what’s reported. News reports have suggested a package of approximately $850 billion.

When ask about the potential of every American receiving a check for $1,000, neither Trump nor Mnuchin denied the possibility and said it has been discussed. The check could also be larger than that. Mnuchin went on to say discussions are ongoing regarding how to help small businesses, the airline industry and the restaurant industry.

“We want to make sure Americans get money in their pockets quickly,” Mnuchin said.

Trump is pressuring Congress to pass a spending package to help stabilize the economy during the coronavirus pandemic. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said the Senate is open and will work to get a package passed.

“The Senate will not adjourn until we have passed significant and bold new steps above and beyond what the House has passed to help our strong nation and our strong underlying economy weather this storm,” McConnell said.

Along with a spending package, Trump and Mnuchin discussed a possible income tax pause and other options to help Americans keep more of their earnings. The spending package would be larger than the 2008 bank bailout or the 2009 recovery act, according to the Associated Press.


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