Treasury secretary pushing $1.3 trillion plan to send cash to Americans, some industries, to stave off virus-related losses

(USA Features) Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Wednesday touted what he said amounts to a $1.3 trillion economic stimulus plan aimed at blunting financial losses due to the coronavirus, where Americans would see checks in their bank accounts within weeks.

A proposal sent to Congress Wednesday by the Treasury Department contains plans to spend $500 billion total in payouts to individuals and families that should begin landing in bank accounts within three weeks, Bloomberg News reported.

Mnuchin has also proposed that lawmakers approve $50 billion in loans to the distressed airline sector, rejecting the industry’s request of nearly $30 billion in grants.

“We’re going to deliver assistance,” Mnuchin said Wednesday in a CNBC interview. “The president has said: Let’s think big,” adding that Trump has a “whatever-it-takes” attitude.

The Treasury chief proposed sending electronic payments to Americans on April 6 and May 18, of equal value, according to Bloomberg News. The amount of money will be tied to income and the number of children in families.

“The stimulus measures aim to help cushion the economic hit to families during the coronavirus as businesses have shut down and Americans have been encouraged to stay home. That’s resulted in widespread firings, closures and foregone pay,” the financial news service reported.

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Some reports suggested earlier in the day that a COVID-19-caused recession could lead to 20 percent unemployment by summer, but Mnuchin pushed back on that.

“It was just a mathematical statement to say if half these people were to lose their jobs, this is what it would be — but we’re not going to let that happen,” Mnuchin said on CNBC Wednesday, referring to the outlook he shared on Capitol Hill.

Another report from a restaurant association claimed that between 5-7 million food service workers could be furloughed over the next three months.

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