President Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said Tuesday they’re strongly considering giving Americans $1,000 each within the next two weeks to help with the impact from the coronavirus.
“We’re going big,” Mr. Trump said at the White House.
Mr. Mnuchin, who was meeting later with Republican senators, said the administration is quickly coming around to the idea of cutting checks for every American who needs it.
“We’re looking at sending checks to Americans immediately. Americans need cash now,” Mr. Mnuchin said. “I mean now in the next two weeks.”
He said the details for qualifying still would need to be worked out with Congress.
“We don’t need to send people who make a million dollars a year checks,” Mr. Mnuchin said.
The president said he wants to “do something that gets money to them as quickly as possible.”
“Obviously some people shouldn’t be getting checks with $1,000,” he said. “We’ll have a pretty good idea by the end of the day how we’re going to do it.”
The president has been pushing for a payroll tax cut through the end of the year, but he acknowledged on Tuesday that the impact of such relief would be felt more slowly.
“Payroll tax is one way, but it does come over a period of months. We’re going big. It’s a substantial number,” Mr. Trump said.
Mr. Mnuchin underscored the urgency.
“The president has instructed me we have to do this now,” he said. “This is no fault to American workers. For medical reasons, we are shutting down parts of the economy.”
He added that other sectors of the economy need help too.
“This is worse than 9/11. For the airline industry, they’ve almost ground to a halt,” he said.
There are roughly 155 million workers in the U.S. If every one of them got a check, the cost would be about $155 billion.
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