Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned Republican senators on Tuesday that the country’s unemployment rate could hit 20% if they failed to act on a proposed coronavirus rescue package and there was lasting economic damage, a person familiar with the closed-door meeting said.
Mnuchin met with senators to persuade them to pass a $1 trillion stimulus package that would send cash to Americans within two weeks, and backstop airlines and other companies. The Senate is majority-controlled by President Donald Trump’s fellow Republicans.
The warning was similar to one issued to U.S. lawmakers at the depths of the 2008 financial crisis, when Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke went to Capitol Hill to urge passage of a $700 billion plan to buy toxic mortgage assets.
Little more than a week ago, Trump and his aides declared economy was resilient enough to withstand coronavirus. Yday, Mnuchin privately shared ominous message w Senate Rs: we need to pass $1T virus plan or U.S. could be looking at a 20% unemployment rate.https://t.co/sTgCaadorP
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) March 18, 2020