The White House and Senate have reached a historic deal to inject $2 trillion into the economy via cash handouts for workers, enhanced unemployment benefits, loans for small businesses and loans for distressed companies. The bill is intended to throw a lifeline to Americans enduring the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak. If it passes Congress, it would become the country’s largest rescue package to date.
While the full text of the bill has not yet been released, CBS News reports that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer provided a summary of the sweeping legislation to colleagues on Wednesday morning, calling it an “outstanding agreement”.
The rescue package will provide direct payments of $1,200 to most Americans who earn up to $75,000. Couples who earn up to $150,000 would receive $2,400. Individuals earning over $75,000 may qualify for a decreased amount, and payments would cap out for individuals making more than $99,000.
Unemployment benefits would expand, boosting the maximum benefit by $600 per week and providing laid-off workers with full pay for four months. The measure would also expand eligibility to aid more workers.
Small businesses are allocated $367 billion in loans, while state and local governments are allocated $150 billion.
Hospitals and other health-care providers for equipment and supplies will receive $130 billion in aid, while $500 billion in loans will be allocated for larger industries, including $50 billion earmarked for airlines.
The legislation will also establish an oversight board and an inspector general to oversee loans to large companies as well as prohibit companies owned by President Trump and his family from receiving federal relief.
A stock buyback ban will be in place to prevent corporate abuses. Companies accepting loans would also have to limit executive bonuses.
House leaders are attempting to fast-track the massive emergency package and are hoping to get it resolved by the end of the week. The legislation must first pass in the House before proceeding to Trump’s desk for signature.
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