Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will gain some unprecedented power from the coronavirus relief bill he helped write.
The House is set to pass a stimulus bill that addresses economic shortfalls caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on Friday (or possibly Saturday). It'll send individual checks to Americans and billions of dollars to institutions and businesses, and with Mnuchin overseeing it all, it'll make him "one of the most powerful Cabinet members in modern history," The Washington Post writes.
Mnuchin has been at the forefront of congressional negotiations surrounding the stimulus bill since the start, steering it from its trillion-dollar beginnings to a final total more than double that cost. A highlight of the bill is its $1,200 checks for individual Americans. Mnuchin will be responsible for ensuring those checks actually get distributed, and has so far been hopeful — perhaps unrealistically so — that they'll be out by April.
The bill also contains a $500 billion funding program, and Mnuchin will oversee how it's distributed to local and state governments, as well as businesses, the Post notes. He'll undoubtedly face pressure from corporate executives looking for bailouts from that fund, and will have to weigh those pleas alongside the needs of taxpayers.
Mnuchin will remain "under constant scrutiny by Democrats, Republicans, a new inspector general, a new congressional oversight panel, as well as [President] Trump" as these disbursals go on, the Post notes. But he's so far gotten both sides of the aisle and the president onboard with the bill, even as Trump reportedly fielded dozens of calls complaining about what was inside it. Read more at The Washington Post.