Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Trump administration will send Americans checks i the amount of at least $1,000.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Trump administration will send Americans checks in the amount of at least $1,000.

Washington – President Donald Trump wants to send Americans a  check for about $1,000 to help them cope with the financial stresses of the coronavirus crisis, but Sen. Chris Murphy is pushing for double that.

“No doubt this would be expensive. But, I just think the moment is serious enough that we need to prevent an economic collapse,” Murphy said. ” And I think that the best way to prevent an economic collapse is not to bail out industries, but to put cash directly into the economy through families.”

The White House and Congress on Wednesday continued on somewhat divergent paths to spend as much as an additional  trillion dollars to combat the coronavirus pandemic. But there was bipartisan agreement that the federal government must spend freely to try to blunt the impact of COVID-19.

The White House outlined a plan that would bail out airlines, hotels, casinos and small-to-medium-sized businesses. The package, to cost more than $850 billion, would provide $50 billion for the hard-hit airline industry and $250 billion for small business support.

In a Wednesday press conference with the president and other administration officials, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the package would also include sending direct cash payments to Americans in the form of checks for about $1,000. Mnuchin said there would probably be a cutoff for the wealthy, saying millionaires don’t need the money.

“We’re going big,” Trump said of the overall package, which would require congressional approval. “I think we want to get it done. And have a big infusion as opposed to going through little meetings every every couple of days. We don’t want to do it that way. We want to go big.”

Democrats are pushing their own massive bill and many of their provisions don’t overlap with the White House’s proposal.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and other Democrats support a package of “at least” $750 billion that would include billions in additional emergency aid for hospitals and provide more money for expanded unemployment insurance, more help to small businesses, broad availability of child care, especially for first responders, and food assistance for seniors.

Schumer’s bill would also halt evictions and foreclosures on homes and businesses whose mortgages are backed by the federal government.

Sen. Chris Murphy aid Americans should each receive at least $2,000 to cope with coronavirus.

Murphy said he’s glad the president seems to have dropped his insistence that a tax break be included in the third coronavirus package. But he objected to plans to bail out the airlines and other industries, especially if there are no strings attached to the money.

“I don’t want the airlines to lay off flight attendants and ground crew and then pocket the money,” Murphy said.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said any bailout of the airline industry must include the commitment to better service.

“No blank check industry bailouts,” Blumenthal tweeted. “To receive taxpayer money, airlines must stop fleecing flyers with fees & shortchanging safety. Consumers & workers need protection.”

Murphy: $2,000 per person

Murphy said he is working with Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., Michael Bennet, D-Co., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, on his plans to send every man, woman and child a check for $2,000, with a cutoff for the wealthy, which he said might be individuals who earn $100,000 or more a year and families whose annual income exceeds $180,000.

Murphy also said he supports Schumer’s efforts to address a shortage of childcare, especially for medical professionals and first responders.

A member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Murphy also said he will also press for food stamp recipients to be able to use their EBT cards at restaurants. Although many have been closed, restaurants still offer carryout service and will need an influx of customers when they are able to reopen, Murphy said.

But there’s no clear picture of what a final bill will look like, with so many players seeking to shape the legislation.

The second coronavirus bill – passed by the House on Monday and awaiting approval by the Senate –would give workers two weeks sick leave at full pay and up to a month of family leave at two-thirds pay to many workers who do not have those benefits.

But the legislation would allow companies with fewer than 50 workers to apply for hardship exceptions and would not apply to businesses with 500 or more workers. The changes secured by the GOP included capping paid sick leave at no more than $511 a day and capping family leave at no more than $200 a day.

In a statement Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for the next bill to ensure sick workers can access longer-term leave, expand the allowable reasons for using family and medical leave, allow refundable tax credits to help self-employed and gig economy workers and ensure first responders and health care workers have access to paid leave.

Connecticut has already procured more than $7 million from the first coronavirus bill approved by Congress, an $8.3 billion measure that aimed to shore up federal and state health agencies. But that’s just a drop in the bucket if Congress manages to approve the second and third coronavirus packages.

Meanwhile, the president is using his executive authority to address the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis.

On Tuesday, the  Treasury Department and Federal Reserve took steps to make it easier for companies to borrow money, while the White House gave more flexibility to taxpayers to delay for an additional 90 days tax payments they owe on April 15.

Ana has written about politics and policy in Washington, D.C.. for Gannett, Thompson Reuters and UPI. She was a special correspondent for the Miami Herald, and a regular contributor to The New York TImes, Advertising Age and several other publications. She has also worked in broadcast journalism, for CNN and several local NPR stations. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Journalism.

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9 Comments

  1. We elected Donald Trump in the United States because we are tired of vitriolic politicians. The Junior politician Murphy needs to learn how to be a team player instead of thwarting the well being of Americans during a crisis. Now is not the time for our officials to be playing political games with the lives of Americans.

    1. Trump delayed doing anything for 8 weeks and lied and mismanaged the whole thing and should resign.. This is Romneys idea

      1. Sure he did. The narrative changes daily and there isn’t much anyone of us can do…president included. NO ONE i mean NO ONE is prepared for this. What would have been your strategy?

      2. Care to cite an example instead of throwing bombs? Immediately prohibiting people from the hotbed of infection (China) is doing nothing in your Democrat mind? Romney has nothing to dowith this. Why do you Democrats politicize things like you just did instead of being reasonable?

      3. I think if Trump said he will not run for reelection, it would give our country a big boost psychologically in regards to the virus. And I would add the stock market. The only thing a President has in a huge crisis is his credibility. And Trump has none, except with his Base, who would follow him off the cliff every day of the week. He is a pathological liar. He clearly does not have comprehension skills.

  2. Please do not send me a check. Nobody needs to have a government handout regardless of the time. This is not right to further add to the national debt. I pray that the President does not fall into an economic game under the illusion of bipartisanship

  3. This is just another issue that our democrat representatives decides to slam the current president. Our representatives have decided that the American people needs what amounts to a bribe by the democrats. Hopefully the American people will see exactly what this is all about.

  4. sending a child a check are they out of their mind. how about lowering taxes?? yes sending adults money is a great idea as we will spend it. if somebody has 6 kids, they cant get $12k.

  5. Americans are going to demand to know why Trump wasn’t prepared. Why was it that America has tested such a small number of people to this day? (Only 60,000 as of today). Why hasn’t the Federal government stepped in to make sure we have enough medical masks and ventilators? Why hasn’t the Federal government stepped in to protect as best possible our doctors, nurses and our medical providers? Today he said the Federal government “is not a shipping clerk”….my God! Why did Trump mislead the American public for so long? A mere 22 days ago he actually had the audacity to say “there were only 15 cases in the U.S. And that number would soon be zero”! Trump’s presidency is a failure by any reasonable standard. History will not be kind to him. It remains to be seen how this virus plays out. But Trump will go down as the worst President in our country’s history. It just remains to be seen how humiliated he will be in the end. There is a whole lot of damage to repair into our country.

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