US proposes sending $500 billion in checks to Americans, starting April 6

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WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department wants to start issuing direct payments to Americans by early next month as the centerpiece of a $1 trillion plan to stabilize the economy as the coronavirus epidemic threatens a body slam to taxpayers and businesses.

In a memorandum issued Wednesday, Treasury is calling for two $250 billion cash infusions to individuals: A first set of checks issued starting April 6, with a second wave in mid-May. The amounts would depend on income and family size.

The Treasury plan, which requires approval by Congress, also recommends $50 billion to stabilize the airlines, $150 billion to issue loan guarantees to other struggling sectors, and $300 billion to for small businesses. The plan appears to anticipate that many of the loans would not be repaid.

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