By MARIAM KHAN, ABC News
(WASHINGTON) — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Monday Americans who qualify for direct payments in the new pandemic relief legislation should expect to see money in their accounts as early as next week.
“The good news is 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 said in a phone interview with CNBC.
“The president wanted direct payments, so we will be sending out next week direct deposit,” Mnuchin said. “I expect we’ll get the money out by the beginning of next week.”
His announcement comes just hours before lawmakers on Capitol Hill were set to vote on a compromise $900 billion COVID-19 stimulus package after months of stalled negotiations.
Top Democrats House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called the plan a “package that delivers urgently needed funds to save the lives and livelihoods of the American people as the virus accelerates.” But they both made clear that more needs to be done and said they would immediately push for more relief after President-elect Joe Biden takes office on Jan. 20.
The agreement includes $600 for individuals making up to $75,000 per year, $1,200 for couples making up to $150,000 per year, as well as a $600 payment for each dependent child.
For example, a family of four would receive $2,400 in direct payments.
The payments decrease for people who made more than $75,000 during 2019. The payments would phase out completely for people who made above $99,000 in income for that year.
Mnuchin called direct payments a “very, very fast way of getting money into the economy.”
“It’s money that gets recirculated in the economy, so people go out and spend this money, and that helps small business and that helps getting more people back to work,” he said.
The deal also includes $300 in enhanced federal unemployment benefits through mid-March, $25 billion in rental assistance, $15 billion for theaters and other live venues, $82 billion for local schools, colleges, and universities, and $10 billion for child care.
The measure would also provide more than $284 billion for businesses and would revive the Paycheck Protection Program, which expired over the summer.
Mnuchin spoke approvingly of the compromise that was made to get the bill over the finish line.
“This overall bill I think is fabulous,” he said, adding that “this is a large bill and has a little bit of everything in it for everybody.”
President Trump has said he will sign the bill into law.
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