Stimulus checks will arrive as early as subsequent week, says Mnuchin

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC Monday that Americans who qualify for direct payments under the new Covid relief laws could see money hit their bank accounts within days.

“The good news is that this is a very, very quick way to get money into the economy. Let me stress this: people will see that money early next week,” Mnuchin told CNBC host Jim Cramer.

“So it’s very fast, it’s money that circulates in the economy,” he added. “People go out and spend that money, and that helps small businesses and helps get more people back to work.”

Mnuchin’s comments came hours ahead of the expected Congress vote to approve the $ 900 billion Covid-19 relief bill. The latest bill contains provisions that are in line with the original CARES bill, the $ 2.2 trillion aid package approved in March.

Individuals, including children, receive direct payments of $ 600. A family of four could end up with $ 2,400. Payments are going down for people who made more than $ 75,000 in 2019. For people who made more than $ 99,000 this year, they would be phased out completely.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin listens during a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Washington, the United States, on Dec. 1, 2020.

Al Drago | Reuters

Democrats said the bill would put $ 284 billion in small loans under the Paycheck Protection Program. The new bill would provide an additional $ 20 billion for small business grants and $ 15 billion for live venues.

If passed, the legislation would include a weekly unemployment benefit of $ 300 and temporarily retain pandemic-era programs that expand unemployment insurance eligibility.

At the beginning of the year, the finance minister had negotiated with top democrats in order to reach a new economic agreement. After the 2020 election, Senate Republicans, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, took over the deliberations.

For his part, Mnuchin advocated more focused spending accounting, focusing on helping the industries hardest hit by the pandemic, such as airlines and restaurants.

“Unemployment has fallen significantly,” said Mnuchin in a telephone interview with “Squawk on the Street”. “This is much more focused now. I expect it will be needed in a short time and I think this will get us through the recovery.”

That view is likely to run counter to that of the Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Chairman Chuck Schumer, who have said the $ 900 billion bill is necessary but not sufficient.

Democrats say Congress may need to provide further stimulus in the coming months as the US kicks off a winter of record-breaking Covid-19 infections. President-elect Joe Biden has referred to the current bill as a down payment for further action.

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