DCR Economics & Policy: Treasury started sending stimulus checks on Wednesday, rushing after delay.☕☕☕

Ayyyeee… What’s Goodie Everyone. So I got some tea. This involves the stimulus package.

The Trump administration sent out one time stimulus payments to millions of Americans on Wednesday as the U.S. government races to implement a $900 billion coronavirus aid package that Trump signed after days of delaying it.

The schedule corresponds with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s promise he made last week to dispatch stimulus checks to families, this week a plan later thrown into chaos after Trump initially refused to sign the stimulus package. Trump had attempted to secure last minute changes to the bill after it passed the House and Senate, but his own party did not support some of his demands, and he signed the bill on Sunday.

The electronic deposits went out Wednesday and Thursday in large tranches, according to a senior official at the Internal Revenue Service, who spoke anonymously to describe the agency’s early plans. It remains unclear, whether other obstacles might result in delays particularly given the holiday week and its impact on staffing at major banks. A senior treasury official, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity, confirmed that the agency was sticking to the same targeted timeline as Mnuchin recently outlined but signaled that the timing could change.

The last minute rush to send the stimulus checks reflects the task that the U.S. government faces as it aims to deliver new financial assistance quickly enough to avert a deeper dip in an already battered U.S. economy.

The Treasury Department is able to move swiftly to deposit checks for as much as $600 into Americans bank accounts as a result of its earlier work this spring, when it disbursed larger sums under an earlier stimulus program. Americans who previously obtained their federal tax refunds through direct deposit were among the first to receive their payments at the time. Those receiving paper checks had a longer wait for the aid.

Federal agencies had been preparing for the prospect of an abrupt government shutdown. Now, the Trump administration is racing to distribute a wide array of funds, including those that aim to boost cash strapped businesses and help unemployed workers at risk of losing their benefits. Trump’s earlier standoff with the house and senate over the stimulus which cleared the House and Senate with bipartisan support has since jeopardized the swift delivery of some of those funds.

In addition to the emergency relief funds, the newly enacted law directs the government to appropriate $20 billion for coronavirus testing, and $8 billion for vaccine distribution. It allocates $13 billion in fresh money to help families afford food and $10 billion to help parents cover the cost of child care. There is new aid to boost arts programs and expand the availability of high speed Internet access. And lawmakers set aside billions more to ensure that families can stay in their homes and transit agencies could literally keep the trains running on time.

The new stimulus offers critical help to roughly 14 million Americans, for example, who have exhausted their unemployment benefits. But it may take weeks for state agencies to implement the new policy and boost other jobless workers pay leaving some workers facing the real prospect that they will not receive their checks for an extended period.

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