In response to the disruption of so many different economic aspects of American life caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Trump administration has come up with a solution that could be some people’s saving grace.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced Tuesday that the Trump administration wants to send checks to Americans “in the next two weeks.”
“We’re looking at sending checks to Americans immediately,” Mnuchin said during a press briefing from the White House. “Americans need cash now, the president wants to get cash now. I mean now—in the next few weeks.”
“The president has instructed me we have to do this now,” Mnuchin added. According to Fox News, Mnuchin is pressing GOP senators for a package that would send $200 billion-plus of payments to Americans by early April.
Mnuchin’s comments came during the White House press conference Tuesday with President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Mnuchin standing alongside the coronavirus task force.
The White House is currently in negotiations with lawmakers on Capitol Hill for Congress to approve a sweeping economic stimulus package to help U.S. businesses and taxpayers deal with the economic fallout from the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus.
Mnuchin, on Tuesday, also announced that the Treasury Department would not extend the deadline to file taxes by the April 15 deadline, as much of the tax filing can be done online.
“We encourage Americans who can file taxes to continue to file taxes on April 15 because for many Americans, you will get tax refunds and we don’t want you to lose out on those tax refunds,” Mnuchin said.
Mnuchin did add, however, that if individuals or corporations owe money to the Internal Revenue Service after filing their taxes, those payments now are able to be deferred for up to 90 days interest-free.
“If you owe a payment to the IRS, you can defer up to $1 million as an individual, and $10 million to corporations, interest-free and penalty-free for 90 days,” Mnuchin continued. “File your taxes, you’ll automatically not get charged interests or penalties.”
Mnuchin was planning to outline a nearly $850 billion package during a lunch with Senate Republicans Tuesday, which Trump administration officials hope to have approved by the end of this week.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, opening the Senate on Tuesday morning, promised swift action.
“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.
The Trump administration’s stimulus package is massive and completely necessary. The package is bigger than the 2008 bank bailout and the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was passed and signed under former President Barack Obama, and totaled $787 billion, playing a role in the stabilization of the economy after the last recession.
Trump, during the press briefing Tuesday, said there was “great spirit” among lawmakers with regard to the plan. “I can say that for Republicans and Democrats.”
“We have to fight that invisible enemy, I guess unknown, but we’re getting to know it much better,” Trump said of the virus. “We are looking to save a maximum number of lives.”
“We’re taking aggressive action now as one nation and one family so that America can rebound stronger frankly, stronger than ever,” he said.