President Trump has signed off on a $2 trillion stimulus package to aid the economy, the final step needed in its passage.
Original story: The U.S. Senate is expected to vote Wednesday afternoon on a $2 trillion stimulus package aimed at getting money to businesses and individuals as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread across the country.
Early Wednesday morning, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, announced that Republicans, Democrats and the White House had agreed on a $2 trillion plan that will fund unemployment insurance programs, help state and local governments, bolster hospitals and health care facilities, make loans to businesses and send many Americans checks for $1,200.
While the legislation has not been completed, here is what is believed the bill will include:
Direct payout to Americans: The bill would give one-time direct payments to Americans — $1,200 per adult making up to $75,000 a year, and $2,400 to a married couple making up to $150,000, with $500 payments per child.
The amount of the payments will be based on income reported in 2018 taxes -- or your 2019 taxes if you have already filed them. The amount of the payment will decline gradually, beginning with individuals who made more than $75,000, or married couples who filed jointly who made $150,000.
Payments will phase out at a rate of $5 per every additional $100 in income over $75,000 in adjusted gross income for singles, $112,500 for heads of household, and $150,000 for married couples filing jointly.
The checks will be directly deposited into bank accounts if you included direct deposit information on your tax form. If you did not, your check will be mailed to you. A date of April 6 had been floated, but many think it may be mid-April or May before the money goes out.
Unemployment insurance help: Additional unemployment insurance benefits will be bolstered for four months by increasing the maximum unemployment benefit that a state gives to a person by $600 per week.
According to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, the bill “ensures that laid-off workers, on average, will receive their full pay for four months.”Unemployment benefits will also be extended to those who typically do not qualify for such benefits, such as freelancers, gig economy workers and furloughed employees.
Funds for hospitals, equipment: The bill will provide $150 billion for hospitals treating coronavirus patients. Of the $150 billion, $100 billion will go to hospitals and $1 billion will go to the Indian Health Service. The other $49 billion will be used to increase medical equipment capacity.
Large business loans: A $500 billion fund will offer $425 billion to the Federal Reserve to use for loans in order to help financially strapped companies, with the other $75 billion going for industry-specific loans. Companies that take the loans must also agree to halt any stock buybacks for the length of the government assistance, plus an additional year.
The loans will also come with stricter oversight, in the form of an inspector general and a five-person panel appointed by Congress to conduct the oversight.
In addition, no senior member of government, including President Donald Trump, will be eligible for a loan on a business in which they have an interest.
Loans to small businesses: About $367 billion will go to loans for small businesses, administered through the Small Business Administration.
Aid to state and local governments: Around $150 billion will be allocated for state and local governments to pay for the cost of fighting the virus and providing services to those who have the virus.