Many have been talking about the coronavirus stimulus bill, which is designed to help the U.S. get through the fallout of the viral pandemic, and there are some key things that citizens need to know about the $2 trillion rescue package. When announcing it, Senator Mitch McConnell — Republican of Kentucky and the Senate majority leader — said, "In effect, this is a wartime level of investment into our nation."
The major move is meant to stimulate the nation's economy, as many businesses have had to close their doors and lay off their employees due to the need for people to self-quarantine. This is encouraged by medical experts and political leaders, as it can help limit and reduce the spread of coronavirus. Democratic and Republican leaders had a tough time coming to an agreement on the details of the deal, but have since worked out an agreement that should see the bill pass. Notably, the $2 trillion stimulus package is the "largest economic stimulus measure in modern history."
Scroll down to read more about the bill and how it will impact the lives of citizens, as adapted from a New York Times article.
Per the bill, the government would provide $1,200 in direct payments to taxpayers who have incomes up to $75,000 per year.
That amount starts to phase out after this cap, and ends entirely for anyone earning more than $99,000. Families would receive an additional $500 per child.
At this time, there is no timeline for when the payments would start to be made.
The bill will also add major expansions to unemployment benefits.
The "jobless insurance" will be extended by 13 weeks and will also include an additional four-month of enhanced benefits.
It's reported that Democrats urged for this program to be "broadened to include freelancers, furloughed employees and gig workers, such as Uber drivers."
For any small businesses that agree not to lay off workers, the bill has provisions for their benefit as well. Those companies would receive "federally guaranteed loans available at community banks."
Senator Marco Rubio — a Republican of Florida, and the chairman of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee — worked with Democrats to create the program, and said of it, "There is broad general agreement that small businesses in this country will not be able to survive unless there is extraordinary assistance.
"The goal is to keep employees connected to their employers, so that people aren't just having to stay home and aren't just feeling the stress of being laid off, but the uncertainty of whether they'll even have a job to go back to."
Distressed Company Bailouts
It's not just small businesses that can get federal loans, as a $425 billion fund — controlled by the Federal Reserve — has been created to help loan money to distressed companies.
There is also an additional $75 billion which will be available for industry-specific loans, which includes industries such as airlines and hotels.
Interestingly, Democrats "secured a provision ensuring that Trump family businesses — or those of any other senior government officials — cannot receive loan money through that fund." However, there are still other parts of the bill they could potentially benefit from.
On top of everything already laid out, the agreed upon bill also includes $100 billion for hospitals and health systems.
Additionally, it also includes billions more funds, allotted to "furnish personal and protective equipment and increased for health care workers, testing supplies, and new construction to house patients." Political leaders have also agreed to increase Medicare payments to hospitals and providers. This is all per a letter from Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the Senate minority leader.
What Social Media Is Saying
Understandably, many have been taking to social media with their thoughts on the coronavirus stimulus bill.
We won't make it till May wtf are they thinking.Most people are in dire straits after missing a week. How are they supposed to make it over a month. Spoiler alert they won't.— Rodney Ivey (@RodneyIvey3) March 25, 2020
A lesson in bait-and-switch corruption:
SECTION 2 OF EMERGENCY BILL: Look at how we're getting tough with corporations & making sure they play by rules!
SECTION 3 OF EMERGENCY BILL: We are giving Mnuchin unchecked power to waive the rules for any reason or even no reason at all pic.twitter.com/8KDNHfKAXF— David Sirota (@davidsirota) March 25, 2020
If the stimulus bill is EVER passed by a Congress that will likely go down as the worst ever...
I am donating my families check to our first responders/healthcare workers dealing with this crisis.
I challenge others that are able to do the same! #GiveItBack
RT!— Graham Allen (@GrahamAllen_1) March 25, 2020
🥳TWO TRILLION DOLLAR STIMULUS! TWO TRILLION DOLLAR STIMULUS! Don’t read the fine print & we can all go home for break now https://t.co/ACJMPutHuB— Bree Newsome Bass (@BreeNewsome) March 25, 2020
Mnuchin predicts “within the next three weeks” Americans who qualify for direct payments under the stimulus will get their direct deposits or checks— Manu Raju (@mkraju) March 25, 2020