U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the administration is considering reimbursing businesses whose storefronts were damaged in the recent rioting over the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.
“There is some discussion over whether we should allow the damage costs to be picked up in the next bill,” the Secretary told CNBC.
In an interview on “Squawk on the Street” on Thursday (June 11), Mnuchin said the business owners who were looted, whether they were minority-owned or not, should get the help they need to rebuild.
When asked whether there’s a possibility the nation’s economy will be shuttered a second time, Mnuchin said no.
“We can't shut down the economy again,” he told the network. “We’ve learned that if you shut down the economy, you will create not just economic damage, but there are other areas, such as medical problems, that get put on hold.”
Mnuchin said only about half of the unprecedented $3 trillion Congress approved to help the economy has been spent by families and small businesses.
“Over the next month, another $1 trillion will be pumped into the economy; that will have a big impact,” he said.
The Federal Reserve Board’s Main Street Lending Program will soon be up and running, he added, and the administration is prepared to ask Congress for more money to put Americans back to work. “That’s my No. 1 job working with the president and we’re going to do that,” he said.
During the 10-minute wide-ranging interview, Mnuchin credited the Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for the improved job numbers.
“We couldn't be more pleased with the success of the PPP,” he said. “We saw in the unemployment numbers that not only did we save millions and millions of jobs, but there’s no question in my mind that the increase in jobs was the direct result of the PPP and reopening the economy. Those are both very important factors.”