Steve Mnuchin says $600 stimulus checks may be issued as soon as now

The aid, he says, is 'part of our commitment to providing vital additional economic relief to the American people.'

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The first Americans may have received their $600 stimulus checks as early as last night.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said direct deposits have already begun, and paper checks will start being mailed out today.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testifies before the Congressional Oversight Commission during an “Examination of Loans to Businesses Critical to Maintaining National Security” hearing earlier this month. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger-Pool/Getty Images)

Mnuchin maintains that the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service “are working with unprecedented speed to issue a second round of Economic Impact Payments to eligible Americans and their families.”

“These payments,” he said in a statement, “are an integral part of our commitment to providing vital additional economic relief to the American people during this unprecedented time.”

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There is no action required for eligible people. Most Americans who received a check earlier this year will get the $600 payment.

In a press release, the U.S. Department of the Treasury clarified the plan: “Generally, if you have adjusted gross income for 2019 up to $75,000 for individuals and up to $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns and surviving spouses, you will receive the full amount of the second payment. For filers with income above those amounts, the payment amount is reduced.”

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President Donald Trump and Congressional Democrats have pushed for an increase in stimulus payment amount.

“As President, I have told Congress that I want far less wasteful spending and more money going to the American people in the form of $2,000 checks per adult and $600 per child,” Trump said in a statement.

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However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked a measure to force a vote on the proposal Tuesday. Instead, he called for legislation that combines the relief aid with the president’s demands that lawmakers address election fraud and remove legal protections for social media platforms under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

The Department of the Treasury said if the legislation passes to increase the payments, it would disburse the difference of the amount expeditiously.

The first round of stimulus payments was released in April, nearly two weeks after President Trump signed the CARES Act. This round is expected to move much faster.

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