Mnuchin Warns GOP Lawmakers: Without Aid Bill, U.S. Unemployment Could Reach 20 Percent

Trump administration Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met with Republicans in the Senate on Tuesday to discuss passage of a trillion-dollar stimulus package intended to stave off the economic hardships created by the coronavirus crisis.

The White House/Flickr

Mnuchin told conservative lawmakers that the huge spending bill was necessary to ward off the negative effects of downward economic trends that the virus’ spread across the country and the world was causing.

Failure to pass the series of bills involved in the package, Mnuchin said, could result in unemployment rates skyrocketing. As HuffPost reported, Mnuchin warned that as much as 20 percent of the American workforce could be out of a job as a result, although a Treasury spokeswoman later downplayed his dire warning as a possibility, not an inevitable outcome.

“During the meeting with Senate Republicans today, Secretary Mnuchin used several mathematical examples for illustrative purposes, but he never implied this would be the case,” spokeswoman Monica Crowley said.

The proposal, a joint venture from Mnuchin and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, would include a number of items:

  • more money for hospitals;
  • expanded unemployment insurance for furloughed workers;
  • additional funds for small businesses;
  • help for families struggling to pay childcare costs; and
  • expanded food assistance, particularly for the elderly.

Mnuchin and President Donald Trump have also expressed support for sending out a check to every American adult in order to keep the economy afloat during these troubling times, the Washington Post reported.

As of Wednesday morning, nearly 5,900 individuals have been diagnosed with the illness, across all 50 states. That number is expected to go up, as more testing occurs and more people become exposed to coronavirus. A total of 107 patients have died so far due to the disease.

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