The Trump administration will seek approval of a roughly $850 billion emergency stimulus package from Congress in order to ease the economic impact of the coronavirus, a senior administration official confirmed on Tuesday.
The senior administration official stressed that the proposal is a tax proposal, not a spending stimulus as Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is proposing. The development was first reported by The Washington Post, which said that the stimulus package could include a payroll tax cut and is expected to include about $50 billion to help the airline industry specifically.
Speaking to reporters Tuesday afternoon, President Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also said they wanted to send checks to Americans as part of the proposal. Trump indicated the administration was still considering a payroll tax cut, but looking at other measures to more quickly send money to Americans.
Mnuchin said the administration wanted to get cash payments to Americans in the next “two weeks,” but wouldn’t say how much the one-time payments would be. “We’re looking at sending checks to Americans immediately,” Mnuchin told reporters at the White House.
Trump has been pushing for a payroll tax cut as a means of helping those feeling economic impacts of the virus. The president also told reporters at a briefing Monday that his administration would “back the airlines 100 percent” and said officials would “very strongly” consider the request for $50 billion in assistance made by the industry.
Mnuchin is expected to outline the package to Senate Republicans on Tuesday. He indicated Tuesday that the stimulus package proposal would also include payments to small business and loan guarantees to specific industries, like airlines and hotels.
Schumer, meanwhile, is expected to unveil a proposal laying out some $750 billion in spending to address the economic fallout of the virus.
The package that the administration is seeking, if approved, would represent the third such action Congress has taken to address the impact of the virus, which has sickened well over 4,000 people in the United States, rattled the stock market and prompted school, business and other closures across the country.
News of the proposal comes a day after the House passed a sweeping package aimed at helping American families affected by the virus, which gained support from President Trump.