White House weighs in on checks to Americans due to coronavirus

"I think it's clear we don't need to send people who make a million dollars a year checks," Mnuchin clarified.

Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin  (photo credit: REUTERS)
Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin
(photo credit: REUTERS)
WASHINGTON - The White House is weighing in on a stimulus package that is estimated at around $1 trillion and considering cutting a check to every American in the next two weeks, US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin said.
“We’re looking at sending checks to Americans immediately,” Mnuchin said in a press conference in the White House on Tuesday. “Many companies have now shut down, whether it’s bars or restaurants. Americans need cash now, and I mean now, in the next two weeks,” he added. Congress would have to approve such a measure.
“I think it’s clear we don’t need to send people who make a million dollars a year checks,” he clarified. “But that’s one of the ideas we like. We’re going to preview that today and then we’ll be talking about details afterward.”
“I think we’re going to do something that gets money to them as quickly as possible,” President Donald Trump added during the press conference. “That may not be an accurate way of doing it, because obviously some people shouldn’t be getting checks for $1,000. But we’ll have a pretty good idea by the end of the day what we’re going to be doing.”
Mnuchin also addressed the crisis in the airline industry, saying that for the air carriers, “this is worse than 9/11.” Later, the treasury secretary met lawmakers on Capitol Hill to discuss the details of the stimulus package.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met on Tuesday with Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman Peter DeFazio and spoke by phone with Secretary Mnuchin “to discuss the coronavirus epidemic’s accelerating impacts on the aviation and transportation sectors,” Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff tweeted.
“The Speaker and the Chairman emphasized that protecting workers’ paychecks and benefits was their top priority and that immediate action was needed,” he added.
On Monday, the Trump administration released new guidelines, asking people to avoid social gatherings of 10 people or more, and avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants and food courts.