“Last week they didn’t know if they had protections. They didn’t have any cash,” Mnuchin said.
“Now with this bill passed by Congress, there are protections, and, as I said, hopefully those workers will be rehired.”
The relief bill will give many Americans one-time direct payments of up to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for couples, with $500 added for every child. It would also boost unemployment insurance, adding $600 per week for up to four months on top of what beneficiaries normally receive from states. The bill also would expand eligibility to self-employed people and independent contractors.
In an interview on Fox News, Peter Navarro, the top trade negotiator for President Donald Trump, sounded a similar theme on the job losses as Mnuchin did.
“This is no surprise, this is expected,” said Navarro.
“And you should accept the news, because we’re doing what we need to do to combat the virus,” he said.
The White House later Thursday issued a statement, saying, As the President has said, Americans are making enormous sacrifices and he is grateful for their spirit.”
“The large increase in unemployment claims is just one of the many reasons why President Trump committed weeks ago to take care of all Americans, including affected industries and small businesses, so that we emerge from this challenge stronger and with a prosperous and growing economy,” the statement said.
“The White House commends the action of the Senate last night and believes the House should pass the CARES Act without delay.”