Millions of Americans who qualify for coronavirus relief funds could see payments as soon as next week, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Monday.
“The good news is this is a very, very fast way of getting money into the economy. Let me emphasize: People are going to see this money at the beginning of next week,” he said on CNBC.
Mnuchin encouraged people who receive the payments — which could be as much as $600 — to spend the money and give the economy a much-needed boost.
“People go out and spend this money, and that helps small business and that helps getting more people back to work,” Mnuchin said. “So it’s very fast, it’s money that gets recirculated in the economy.”
Mnuchin did the interview after congressional leaders reached a deal on a $900 billion coronavirus relief package late Sunday but before the House and Senate approved the legislation, which is expected later Monday.
The government will send $600 payments to individual taxpayers earning up to $75,000 a year or married couples with incomes up to $150,000.
In the CARES Act passed by Congress in March, eligible taxpayers received one-time payments of $1,200.
This version includes supplemental payments of $300 a week for the unemployed, protection for renters against eviction, $284 billion for the Payment Protection Program and $82 billion for schools and colleges.
It also contains nearly $1.4 billion for President Trump’s southern border wall.
Hidden in the draft language of the bill is a tax break for corporate meal expenses, dubbed the “three-martini lunch,” that Trump wanted included, the Washington Post reported.
The president saw the provision as a means to help bolster the restaurant industry, which has been pounded by the financial consequences of the pandemic.
Although Democratic leaders were originally opposed to it, they eventually agreed and used it to press Republicans to agree to expanding tax credits for low-income families and the working poor, the report said.