US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced on Tuesday(Mar 17) that President Donald Trump is considering sending checks to Americans as part of a $1 trillion economic stimulus package aimed at helping households and businesses reeling under the impact of the sudden economic slowdown triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, The Wall Street Journal reported.
“This is a very unique situation in this economy. We have put a proposal on the table that would inject $1 trillion into the economy,” Mnuchin told reporters on Capitol Hill.
“We are looking at sending checks to Americans immediately,” Mnuchin said while addressing an earlier press conference on Wednesday. “Americans need cash now and the president wants to get cash now. And I mean now, in the next two weeks.”
The treasury secretary indicated that he has pitched with Senate Republicans the broad contours of a stimulus package that will include sending checks for about $1,000 to every American adult. Mnuchin estimated that the unemployment rate, which was at 3.5% in February, could potentially climb as high as 20% in the absence of intervention by policy makers to safeguard the U.S. economy.
Under the $1 trillion economic stimulus, as much as $500 billion is likely to be earmarked for direct cash payments across two tranches of $250 billion each, the first of which government hopes to deliver as early as end of April. The package also includes roughly $50 billion in assistance for the airline industry, which has been hit hard by the pandemic, and up to $500 billion to support small businesses.
The total size of the proposed stimulus package far outstrips the $787 billion stimulus package passed in 2009 in the midst of the financial crisis
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