Stimulus update: Checks could be available to households next week, treasury chief says

WASHINGTON — U.S. households could begin receiving direct stimulus payments as early as the beginning of next week, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin confirmed Monday.

“This is a very, very fast way of getting money into the economy. Let me emphasize: People are going to see this money at the beginning of next week,” Mnuchin told CNBC on Monday morning, without specifying how many payments would be distributed that quickly.

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According to The Wall Street Journal, it took about two weeks for the first batch of payments to hit bank accounts in March and months for others to receive direct payments.

“So, it’s very fast. It’s money that gets recirculated in the economy. People go out and spend this money, and that helps small business, and that helps getting more people back to work,” Mnuchin added.

The direct payments hinge on full passage of the $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill set for a vote in both chambers late Monday. Per the bipartisan agreement, direct payments of $600 per adult and $600 per child will be disbursed, as opposed to the respective $1,200 and $500 payments issued earlier this year.

Mnuchin also praised the deal’s additional Paycheck Protection Program loans and expansion of a tax credit for retaining employees. Specifically, the credit will take the form of a wage subsidy and will be increased from a single $10,000 annual credit to a $10,000-per-quarter boost, the Journal reported.

“This is a very, very big incentive for small business as well,” Mnuchin said. “For those businesses that did last, this is going to be the needed relief to get them through next year.”