The US Treasury could send cheques directly to American citizens as part of its latest stimulus package worth $1 trillion designed to avoid an economic crisis.
The White House is currently discussing the idea with Congress, and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he supports it.
Details on who would be eligible for the cheques and how much they would be worth are still to be decided. However, it is understood $250 billion of the total package will be used for these cheques.
It is the US government’s latest response to the outbreak of Coronavirus which is expected to have a significant impact on the global economy.
The $1tn package would be larger than the US’ response to the financial crisis in 2008, and would roughly equal the entirety of the UK’s budget.
The White House also revealed plans to businesses and individuals to delay their tax payments by 90 days, and President Donald Trump proposed a payroll tax cut, reducing the amount automatically withheld by the government.
“With this invisible enemy, we don’t want people losing their jobs and not having money to live,” Mr Trump said.
Mr Mnuchin added: “Americans need cash now and the president wants to give cash now and I mean now, in the next two weeks.”
Some economists and politicians criticised the proposed relief plans on areas such as payroll, suggesting more direct action needs to be taken sooner. Some senior politicians, including Republican senator Mitt Romney, called for $1,000 direct payments to US citizens, which is now looking likely.