The Proposed $1.2 Trillion Stimulus
The Trump administration is discussing a plan that could amount to as much as $1.2 trillion in spending -- including direct payments of $1,000 or more to Americans within two weeks -- to blunt some of the economic impact of the widening coronavirus outbreak.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin pitched $250 billion in checks to be sent at the end of April with a second set of checks totaling $500 billion four weeks later if there’s still a national emergency, according to a person familiar with the matter.
“Americans need cash now, and the president wants to give cash now. And I mean now, in the next two weeks,” Mnuchin said Tuesday at a White House briefing alongside President Donald Trump.
“It is a big number,” Mnuchin told reporters later on Capitol Hill. “This is a very big situation in this economy, we put a proposal on the table that would inject $1 trillion into the economy.”
The administration had been discussing a total aid package of $850 billion, but discussions later included spending as much as $1.2 trillion, according to people familiar with the matter.
The cash payments would be part of a stimulus plan Mnuchin is negotiating with Congress. The administration hasn’t decided on how much to send Americans, but wants the checks to exceed $1,000, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Mnuchin’s proposal included $300 billion for small business loans, $200 billion in stabilization funds, $250 billion in cash payments and a possible second round of checks, people familiar with the matter said. Including tax deferrals, that would bring the cost of the plan to around $1.2 trillion.
Mnuchin said the administration will aim not to send checks to millionaires but stressed the need for urgency. The checks will be subject to some kind of income test, according to one of the people familiar with the matter.