Treasury Secretary: Stimulus Checks Are Being Sent Out, People Receiving Money As Early As Wednesday
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Monday that the government would begin to send out $600 checks to millions of Americans next week. Those people who have direct deposit set up with the IRS may see their checks as early as Tuesday night.
“People are going to see this money [at] the beginning of next week,” Mnuchin said
“This money will recirculated in the economy and will help small business,” the Treasury secretary said.
Another boost for small businesses is that they will also be able to deduct their expenses related to the Paycheck Protection Program.
Mnuchin said President Donald Trump was pleased the legislation restored the deductibility of business-meal expenses.
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s push for $2,000 COVID-19 relief checks all but died Wednesday as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell proposed an alternative approach of loading up the bill with other White House priorities that appeared destined to fail.
Trump wants the Republican-led chamber to follow the House and increase the checks from $600 for millions of Americans. A growing number of Republicans, including two senators in runoff elections on Jan. 5 in Georgia, agree. But most GOP senators oppose more spending, even if they are also wary of bucking Trump.
McConnell effectively shut the door on allowing a vote, citing concerns over the cost the upgraded stimulus would add to the national debt.
On the Senate floor Wednesday, McConnell attacked House Democrats for wanting to send a “boatload of cash” to people making six figures who aren’t in need but will likely receive some cash due to the way the payments are structured based on income.
McConnell said it doesn’t make sense to support Americans who haven’t lost income due to the pandemic, basing his argument solely on economics.
“The Senate’s not going to be bullied into rushing out more borrowed money into the hands of Democrats’ rich friends who don’t need the help,” McConnell said.
He said Congress needs to send “smart targeted aid. Not another firehose of money.”
McConnell also said he will not split the $2,000 relief payment bill from a repeal of Section 230 or the election fraud commission.
“The Senate is not going to split apart the three issues that President Trump linked together,” McConnell said, which means the bill, if the Senate does intend to vote on it, will never become law.
“Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer are trying to pull a fast one on the president and the American people,” McConnell said. “They’re hoping everyone just forgets about election integrity and (Sec. 230). They’re desperate to ignore those two parts of President Trump’s request.”
Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer again tried to unanimously pass the House standalone bill that swaps out the $600 payments for $2,000, but McConnell objected.
“At the very least the Senate deserves the opportunity for an up or down vote” on the House-passed $2,000 direct payments bill, Schumer said. He added that “there is no other game in town than the House bill,” and went on to reject McConnell’s bill that includes Trump’s three priorities.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., also tried to pass the House bill unanimously, but GOP Sen. Pat Toomey objected.
The showdown over the $2,000 checks has thrown Congress into a chaotic year-end session just days before new lawmakers are set to be sworn into office for the new year. It’s preventing action on another priority – overturning Trump’s veto on a sweeping defense bill that has been approved every year for 60 years.
Trump has berated Republican leaders for the stonewalling, finding rare common cause with the Democrats pushing them to act. Leading Republicans warned that the GOP’s refusal to provide more aid as the virus worsens will jeopardize next week’s Senate election in Georgia.
“The Senate Republicans risk throwing away two seats and control of the Senate,” said Newt Gingrich, the former congressional leader, on Fox News. He called on Senate Republicans to “get a grip and not try to play cute parliamentary games with the president’s $2,000 payment.”
“These Republicans in the Senate seem to have an endless tolerance for other people’s sadness,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.