Mnuchin says Trump 'absolutely prepared' to provide more coronavirus relief money if needed

Federal government has already thrown trillions of dollars at the coronavirus pandemic

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Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Monday the Trump administration is prepared to back additional stimulus money to blunt the economic pain of the coronavirus pandemic if necessary.

"If we need to put more money out to support American business and American workers, the president is absolutely prepared to do that," Mnuchin told FOX Business' Maria Bartiromo on Monday.

Congress has passed four massive economic-relief packages designed to blunt the pain from the crisis, including the $2.2 trillion CARES Act signed at the end of March, which expanded unemployment benefits; sent one-time payments of up to $1,200 for Americans who earn less than $99,000; and established the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program, which offers forgivable loans to small businesses.

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At the end of April, President Trump signed into law a fourth round of aid, including $310 billion for the PPP. The program, which exhausted its initial funding within 13 days and was heavily criticized for granting low-interest loans to big, publicly traded companies, has so far provided 2.2 million loans worth $175 billion. The average loan size is $79,000, Mnuchin said.

It's unclear what would be included in another relief plan, although Mnuchin said that Trump is looking at ways to stimulate the travel industry and is focused on passing tax changes that could boost the restaurant industry.

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"We fully appreciate the issues of the restaurant industry," Mnuchin said.

Trump has previously floated the possibility of restoring tax deductions for businesses spending money at restaurants and on entertainment in hopes of incentivizing spending.

During a virtual town hall hosted by Fox News on Sunday evening, Trump said he would not agree to pass further stimulus measures unless it includes a payroll tax cut.

“We’re not doing anything without a payroll tax cut,” Trump said.

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