United States Senate Approves $2 Trillion Stimulus Package
On Wednesday night, March 25, the 3rd installment of the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, passed the US Senate. Following several days of negotiations, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) passed unanimously 96-0. Even though the House is technically in recess, they plan to convene Friday morning to consider the legislation on a voice vote so as to avoid requiring all members to physically return to Washington and further delaying passage. After the House vote the bill will then be signed into law by President Trump. Below are the provisions found in this historic stimulus legislation.
  • A one-time direct payment to lower and middle-income Americans (those making less than $75,000 a year) of $1,200 for each adult, and $500 for each child. 
  • The payments begin to phase out at $75,000 for singles and $150,000 for joint taxpayers.
  • Treasury Secretary Mnuchin says they expect payments out within three weeks for those who they have depository information for, those who will need paper checks it will likely take longer.
  • $600 per person per week onto the base maximum unemployment benefit for four months.
  • $500 billion that can be used to back loans and assistance to companies, including $50 billion for loans to U.S. airlines, as well as state and local governments. It also has more than $350 billion to aid small businesses.
  • $30 billion in emergency education funding, $25 billion in emergency transit funding and creates an employee retention tax credit to incentivize businesses to keep workers on payroll during the crisis.
  • $150 billion “Marshall Plan"-style ramp of health care capacity.
  • State and local governments would receive $150 billion, with $8 billion set aside for tribal governments.
  • Creation of an inspector general and oversight committee for the corporate assistance program, similar to what was done for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
  • Ban on stock buybacks to any company receiving government loans through the term of the loan plus one additional year. They also would have to limit executive bonuses and take steps to protect workers. The Treasury Department would have to disclose the terms of loans or other aid to companies and the new inspector general would oversee the lending program.
  • Ban on businesses owned by the president, vice president, members of Congress and the heads of federal executive departments from receiving loans or investments through the corporate liquidity program. The prohibition also applies to their children, spouses and in-laws.

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