After four days of back and forth, the United States Senate has agreed to pass a $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package aimed at helping to get the economy back on track while also providing a financial cushion to Americans.
The historic deal was called “the largest rescue package in American history” by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. It will pump trillions into an economy devastated by the coronavirus pandemic. However, no matter the sigh of relief the agreement on the rescue package brings, Schumer cautioned, “This is not a moment of celebration, but of necessity.”
The exact details of all the provisions in the historic bill have yet to be revealed, but major parts have been leaked. Here’s what the rescue package provisions:
- $250 billion will be set aside for direct payments to Americans, reports CNN.
- From this sum, direct payments of $1,200 will be given to adult Americans who make $75,000 or less in adjusted gross income. Another $500 will also be given for each child in a family.
- Another $250 billion will be used to bolster unemployment benefits. Unemployment insurance will be extended to four months, reports Bloomberg. Weekly benefits will rise by $600 as well, and more types of workers will be covered under the unemployment insurance scheme.
- $130 billion will go to the hardest-hit hospitals.
- Cash-strapped state and local governments will also be able to draw from a $150 billion pot set aside for them.
- $350 billion will be made available as loans to small businesses.
- Another $500 billion will be available for loans to “distressed companies.”
- 10%, or $50 billion of that amount, will go to the airlines.
But along with the money being made available, Senate Democrats won significant concessions from the White House and Senate Republicans in the form of restraints on corporations and oversight of the funds. Specifically:
- Companies that receive a government loan will not be allowed to buy back stock during the time the loan is outstanding and until one year after it is paid back, reports Bloomberg.
- Those companies will also have to limit executive bonuses.
- The terms of the loans would also need to be made public by the Treasury.
- The deal also excludes companies owned by President Trump or his family from accessing the loans.
- Companies owned by Vice President Mike Pence, any member of Congress, or a head of any executive department are also banned from receiving loans.
While the Senate has agreed on the package, it still needs to be voted on, which is expected to happen later today. Then the stimulus package will be sent to the House where it must pass before it can be signed into law by the president.