Washington, DC – The government of US President Donald Trump presented this Tuesday a huge fiscal stimulus package of nearly $ 1 trillion, which includes sending “checks” with cash to citizens “immediately “, to contain the economic impact of the coronavirus.
“We are considering sending checks to Americans immediately … Americans need cash now,” Steven Mnuchin, the US Treasury secretary, said at a press conference at the White House, outlining some of the proposals of the billionaire fiscal stimulus plan that he will present to Congress today.
“And (by this) I mean in the next two weeks,” Mnuchin said, although he avoided giving a specific figure about the amount.
The proposal had already been released this Monday by Senator and former Republican candidate for the White House in 2012, Mitt Romney, who did put a number: a check for $ 1,000 to each adult to counter the effects of the epidemic.
The US media have advanced that the tax package could exceed one trillion dollars between deferrals of tax payments, assistance to especially affected sectors such as airlines or hotels, and the aforementioned delivery of cash to citizens.
This plan would surpass the one launched to face the acute financial crisis of 2008 by the Administration of the then President, Barack Obama, of 700,000 million dollars.
Likewise, Mnuchin insisted on the commitment to keep financial markets open, although he acknowledged that “at some point they may have to reduce hours” of operation.
Previously, the Treasury and the Federal Reserve announced new exceptional measures to increase the liquidity of the financial markets, worth more than 500,000 million dollars, in the face of the tensions generated by the rapid expansion of the coronavirus.
“We are going to be ambitious and daring,” said President Trump himself at the same press conference.
The proposal, however, must be discussed and approved by the US Congress, where the Democratic opposition controls the House of Representatives and the Republicans the Senate.
The US Legislature has already approved a first $ 8.3 billion response package, aimed at strengthening the health system.
Last Friday, the Chamber also agreed on another proposal that grants sick leave paid for workers (something that is not guaranteed at the federal level in the United States) and increased social spending for low-income people, for an estimated total of $ 100 billion.
This proposal, however, has not yet been submitted to the Senate for consideration.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said today that the Upper House will remain operational until “significant new and courageous measures are passed.”
“Beyond those passed by the House, to help our strong nation and our strong economy weather this storm. It is time for forceful and bipartisan action,” McConnell told the full Senate.
President Trump acknowledged Monday that it is “possible” that the US economy It is heading for a recession due to the magnitude of the measures adopted to stop the expansion of the epidemic, including the restriction of international travel, the cancellation of massive events and the closure of bars and restaurants.
Currently, at least 5,702 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the United States, of which almost half are concentrated in the states of Washington, California and New York, and there are at least 94 deaths from the virus, according to data. from John Hopkins University.
Globally, Europe is currently the focus of the coronavirus pandemic, the disease of which about 29,000 cases are registered in Italy, more than 9,000 in Spain, some 5,400 in France and 4,900 in Germany, according to the World Organization of the Health (WHO).