Mnuchin offers timeline for $1,000 payments if stimulus passes – live updates
WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the Trump administration wants checks of $1,000 per person and $500 per child to go out within three weeks of Congress passing a stimulus package.
“The plan is $500 billion in two tranches,” Mnuchin said on Fox Business’ Mornings with Maria. “The first one would be $1,000 per person, $500 per child,” or $3,000 for a family of four, Mnuchin said. “As soon as Congress passes this, we will get this out in three weeks, and then six weeks later, if the president still has a national emergency, we’ll deliver another $3,000.”
Breaking down the administration’s trillion-dollar proposal, Mnuchin said he also wanted $300 billion to go towards small businesses for “hiring people, keeping people on the payroll, and if they do, there will be loan forgiveness.”
Another component involved $200 billion for “securing lending to airlines, and for other critical industries.”
Mnuchin’s plan has not been approved by Congress. Negotiations between congressional leaders and the White House are ongoing.
– Nicholas Wu
More lawmakers self-quarantining
Several members of the House of Representatives announced they would voluntarily go into self-quarantine after two members of the House announced Wednesday they tested positive for the coronavirus.
At least a half-dozen lawmakers said they would go into self-quarantine after Reps. Mario Diaz Balart, R-Fla., and Rep. Ben McAdams, D-Utah, announced their positive tests Wednesday evening.
Congress’ Attending Physician Brian Monahan updated his guidance to lawmakers after the positive tests. The attending physician’s website said the offices and locations found to be “at risk” after contact with those infected were being cleaned and disinfected. Contact with infected lawmakers on the House floor was “considered to be low risk exposures” and did not require any additional action from lawmakers besides reporting illness, he said.
“It reflects the pace of the COVID-19 disease throughout the United States and its presence here in Washington, D.C., that it has touched the community of the U.S. Capitol,” Monahan said in a statement.
One member of Congress, Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, D-Fla., said Congress might need to change the way it does business and reconsider remote voting as an option.
“For the safety of our communities, during this emergency, we must be able to legislate from our districts,” she wrote on Twitter.
Democratic and Republican leaders in both chambers, however, have poured cold water on the idea.
– Nicholas Wu
Working from home? Coronavirus keeps Trump cooped up, too
President Donald Trump has been cooped up in the White House since returning to Washington from his Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago, on March 9. The 10-day period is the longest uninterrupted stretch Trump has stayed inside the White House, according to a USA TODAY analysis of the president’s schedule compiled by the website Factba.se.
The president will break the streak Thursday if he keeps to his schedule in the afternoon to visit the headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Trump has appeared before reporters virtually every day during that time to update the public on the administration’s response to the pandemic, usually in a White House press briefing room.
Trump’s tightened schedule has apparently left less time for events outside the White House.
The president’s last rally took place on March 2 in Charlotte, N.C. On March 6, he visited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and toured tornado damage in Tennessee before heading to Florida for the weekend. He hasn’t left the White House since.
Trump and first lady Melania had scheduled a dinner with Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence on March 11, but those plans were canceled when the president delivered an address to the nation about COVID-19 that night.
Trump rarely goes more than a week without leaving the White House. The last time he approached such a long uninterrupted stretch in the White House was in January during the government shutdown, according to the analysis. Trump ditched his usual winter Florida sojourn to negotiate with Democrats over the impasse.
– John Fritze
Schumer says he’s meeting with McConnell on stimulus bill
In an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he would meet with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell today as negotiations continue over a massive stimulus package that could include checks for Americans affected by the coronavirus.
One of the most important issues for Democrats, Schumer said, was expanded unemployment insurance for Americans laid off as a result of the coronavirus.
“We need to have the workers being paid during this huge crisis, where no one’s showing up at the restaurants and so they’re not working,” Schumer said, noting that he told Treasury Secretary Mnuchin Wednesday night the unemployment insurance provision was needed “probably more importantly than anything else.”
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said on the “Hugh Hewitt Show” that “the priority right now” was “getting money to individuals that need it to help rebuild the economy.” Romney had pitched the idea of sending checks to Americans.