$600 stimulus checks could be sent out as early as this week, according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin

Christmas could be coming late for many Americans, with $600 stimulus checks to be direct deposited in their accounts as early as tonight, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday.

Paper checks could be mailed out as early as Wednesday, he added.

Included as part of the $900 billion coronavirus relief package signed by President Trump over the weekend, the checks — though deemed meager by most Democrats and the president himself — will provide a needed boost to an economy that has been slammed by the COVID-19 pandemic that has killed more than 337,000 in the US.

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All US adults who made less than $75,000 in 2019, and married couples who earned less than $150,000, will receive the full $600, as will their dependent children.

Those who earned more will receive signifcantly less: a person who made $85,000 will receive just $100, while a person who made $100,000 will receive nothing.

The checks may also prove not to be the last round of economic assistance, however.

On Monday, House Democrats, joined by 44 Republicans, passed a standalone bill that would provide $2,000 stimulus checks to US adults.

US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, under pressure from Sen. Bernie Sanders and other progressives who threatened to stall the upper chamber's work, on Tuesday said he will is willing to consider the measure — provided it is attached to two unrelated and potentially poisonous measures: one creating a commission to investigate the president's baseless allegations of voter fraud, and the other repealing a law that grants social media companies legal immunity for the content shared on their platforms.

McConnell, earlier in the day, blocked a Democratic effort to hold a standalone vote on stimulus checks.

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