President Donald Trump said at the White House Tuesday he wanted the federal government to send direct payments to Americans suffering economically from the coronavirus as part of a larger rescue package.
“We’re going big,” Trump said, adding, “We want to go big, go solid.”
The proposal was detailed by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday during a press briefing at the White House.
“We’re looking at sending checks to Americans immediately,” Mnuchin said, adding, “Americans need cash now and the president wants to get cash now.”
Mnuchin said that Americans could expect an individual stimulus within two weeks as he continued to negotiate with Congress.
He added that wealthy Americans would not get direct payments as they did not need it.
“I think it’s clear, we don’t need to send people who make millions of dollars a year checks, OK?” Mnuchin said to reporters. Trump agreed. “Obviously some people shouldn’t be getting checks for $1,000.
Mnuchin said that some of the reported funding numbers of $850 billion for a rescue were probably more expensive than the final bill would be, but that details would be released later in the day.
“This is stuff that needs to be done now, the president has instructed to me that this is no fault to American workers,” he said.
Trump said there were four different ways to get funding directly to Americans, and said that although he supported a payroll tax cut, he was looking at a better way to get funding to Americans faster.
“We want to do something much faster than that,” Trump said.
There has been growing support among Republican Senators for direct payments to the American people as proposed by Breitbart economic editor John Carney on Saturday.
“You can think of this as something like business interruption payments for the American workers,” Mnuchin said.
Mnuchin left the press conference early to meet with members of Congress on Capitol Hill for a big economic rescue package to help businesses and workers.
Trump said that there was support from Congress to do something dramatic.
“It’s going to be big, it’s going to be bold,” Trump said. “And the level of enthusiasm to get something done, I don’t think I’ve seen anything quite like it.”