Trump Admin looks to send money directly to US citizens via checks

The move comes amid fears of a major hit to the US economy due to the coronavirus crisis. It is assumed that hundreds and thousands of Americans would lose their jobs in the coming months. 

Washington, DC: In order to give relief to the Americans adversely impacted by the economic slump caused by the coronavirus, President Donald Trump has instructed that money be sent to them directly as soon as possible, White House officials said. Neither the White House nor Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said how much money would be sent but Trump told reporters that the amount would be greater than the $1000 being reported in the media.

The move comes amid fears of a major hit to the US economy due to the coronavirus crisis. It is assumed that hundreds and thousands of Americans would lose their jobs in the coming months. The entire travel and tourism industry has come to a standstill.

For instance, casinos in Las Vegas have been closed down, hotel occupancy rates have dropped to single digits, airlines are at a standstill and Disneyland has closed its parks.

This in addition to the thousands of restaurants, bars and places of entertainment forced to shut down as a result of public guidelines issued by the White House asking people to stay at home.

CEOs of the travel and tourism industry on Tuesday told reporters that a large number of employees have already been furloughed and thousands of Americans might lose their jobs in the coming weeks and months.

“My administration is taking decisive action to support American workers and businesses,” Trump said during an interaction with a group of CEOs from the travel and tourism industry.

“We are announcing and we will be announcing again later on that we are working with Congress to provide rapid relief for affected workers and industries and this will allow us to emerge as the strongest economy on earth,” he said.

“We are looking at sending checks to Americans. Many companies have shut down. Americans need cash now and the President wants to give cash now and I mean now in the next two weeks,” Treasury Secretary Mnuchin told reporters at the White House.

He later briefed Senators at the US Capitol on the President’s stimulus package that is estimated to be $1 trillion.

Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna and his Congressional colleague Tim Ryan commended the administration’s support for cash payments to working Americans, which the two had proposed last week.

The current Ryan/Khanna plan, the Emergency Money for the People Act, would provide a monthly check of $1,000-2,000 to every American who earned less than $130,000 last year. The White House has not released details of its direct-cash-to-people plan yet.

“Americans need emergency cash, now,” Khanna said.

“Our economy has to get the stimulus from immediate spending. While we are glad to see that the Trump administration now supports our approach, we can’t wait any longer to see the secretary’s words translate to action,” he added.

Under the Ryan/Khanna plan, a vast majority of working-class Americans would qualify for this tax relief. Every American adult making up to $130k would receive at least $1,000 and up to $2,000 per month for 6 months.

Congress can then renew this again for another six-month period. This will operate as a temporary, emergency Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), allowing the IRS to access 2019 Tax Return Information in order to ease the cutting and sending of the checks, Khanna said.

Responding to questions, Mnuchin said the administration wanted to make sure that Americans get money in their pockets quickly. “We want to make sure small business owners have access to funds.”

Trump said this could be done in four-five different ways, but he wanted it to be done as soon as possible. “There are some very good ways of getting the money out and getting it out quickly. Payroll tax is one way but it does come over a period of months, many months and we want to do something much faster than that. So I think we have ways of getting money out pretty quickly and very accurately,” he said. (PTI)

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