Some Republicans are against the plan
President Donald Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are working on a plan to send checks directly to the nation’s citizens to counter the affects of the coronavirus, which has led to the shutdown of businesses in an effort to prevent the spread of the disease.
Mnuchin made the announcement during a White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing Tuesday morning.
He did not disclose the amount of the individual checks, but Sen. Mitt Romney (R., Utah) and Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Arkansas) have suggested that each adult receive $1,000.
Senate Democrats including Cory Booker of New Jersey, Michael Bennett of Colorado and Sherrod Brown of Ohio have suggested sending each American $4500. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for president, has proposed giving each U.S. household $2000.
U.S. Rep. ilhan Omar ( D., Minnesota) announced a plan to give each adult $1,000 and each child $500.
President Trump said his administration is working on a “big and bold” legislative package to address coronavirus. Trump said he favored action that would immediately put money in consumers’ pockets.
Mnuchin is working on a $850 billion economic stimulus package.
Direct payments to consumers faces stiff opposition from some Republicans.
Lindsey Graham, a Trump loyalist, called direct payments to Americans money wasted. “I don’t know if giving a $1000 on top of their paychecks makes any sense now because there’s no economy to participate in. I rather take that money and shore up the health care system,” said Graham, a Republican from South Carolina.
Mnuchin warned Republican senators that without government intervention the unemployment rate could reach 20%.
This is not a new idea. During the Great Recession, the federal government sent every adult a $300 to $600 check, plus $300 per child. In 2001, the majority of Americans received a $300 check.