$2 trillion will be divvied up to aid the ailing economy.
After several long days of deliberating, the United States Senate has finally reached an agreement on the economic stimulus package to keep the country moving in the midst of coronavirus isolation. An earlier draft of the bill was rejected on Sunday when House Democrats refused to sign off, citing a lack of funds for hospitals and local governments. The new version of the bill allocates funds to more facets of the economy, though there is still a heavy emphasis on business.
The exact language of the bill has not been finalized as of writing, but it will definitely include the following allocations:
- Adult US citizens will receive a one-time payment of $1,200, while those with children will receive an extra $500 per child.
- $367 billion will be allocated to small businesses
- $500 billion will be set aside for loans to larger industries
- $100 billion will be allocated to hospitals and the health system
- $50 billion will be spent on protective equipment for health care workers, testing supplies, workforce training, patient housing construction, and coronavirus medical research
- The maximum weekly unemployment benefit will receive a $600 increase for four months
- $150 billion will be set aside for a state, local and tribal fund
- A separate office of the Treasury Department will be created to oversee loan distribution
- Employers who keep workers on their payroll will receive an additional tax credit
Additionally, an extra proviso was added to the bill that businesses controlled by President Donald Trump, members of the administration, members of Congress or their families will not be eligible to receive loans.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer was relieved to finally get the bill in writing, though he cautioned that it will not immediately solve all problems. “After sleep-deprived nights and marathon negotiating sessions, we have a bipartisan agreement on the largest rescue package in American history,” he said. “This is not a moment of celebration but one of necessity. The anguish of the American people – wondering about the future of their health, the health of their loved ones and the economy – necessitates us to do all we can to help them and help our country.”
Senators are hoping to get the bill signed into law later today.