President Donald Trump signed a multibillion-dollar emergency aid package late Wednesday that will provide paid family and sick leave for many Americans during the coronavirus pandemic.
Additionally, 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. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed on Thursday that "the second major pillar of our legislation will be even more straightforward: Direct financial help for Americans." A lot of the details of this proposal are still up in the air.
Here's what we know – and don't. All details stem from a proposal and are subject to change. We will update, as needed.
How much would each person get?
The proposal was put together by the Treasury Department.
"The plan is $500 billion in two tranches,” Mnuchin said on Fox Business’ "Mornings with Maria" show. “The first one would be $1,000 per person, $500 per child," or $3,000 for a family of four, Mnuchin said.
"We are also playing with a lot of numbers, a lot of very big numbers and a lot of very small numbers, frankly," Trump said during a news conference on Wednesday.
Details on which income brackets and qualifications on who would receive the payments are still unclear. But McConnell confirmed the aid would go "from the middle class on down. Period."
Mnuchin's plan has not been approved by Congress. Negotiations between congressional leaders and the White House are ongoing.
When would checks arrive?
"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," Mnuchin said on Fox.
According to the proposal, the first payment would be issued beginning April 6. Another wave of payments would be distributed to taxpayers beginning May 18. However, specific dates would most likely change during the appropriations process in Congress.
The last time the federal government sent checks to Americans was in 2008, under President George W. Bush. The Economic Stimulus Act was signed into law on Feb. 13, 2008, and provided individual tax relief in the form of tax rebates – as much as $600 for individuals, $1,200 for married couples, and additional rebates for families with children. But the money didn't start going out until late April.
Where is this money coming from?
Taxes, in short.
The bill signed by Trump is known as "phase two." The stimulus checks, if considered and approved, would come as part of a trillion-dollar "phase three" package. Lawmakers are likely to start negotiations as soon as Wednesday night.
What other financial assistance efforts is the government putting forward?
The aid package signed by Trump will provide paid sick and family leave, offer free coronavirus testing and bolster unemployment insurance.
Payments on student loan interest are also on hold, as the president said last week during his declaration of a national emergency. "I've waived interest on all student loans held by federal government agencies, and that will be until further notice," Trump said.
McConnell added on Thursday that the Department of Housing and Urban Development would suspend foreclosures and evictions on FHA-insured mortgages.