Updated 3/25/2020 at 11:28am
The White House and Senate Leaders reached a $2 Trillion dollar agreement early Wednesday morning. The bill is the largest stimulus package to come out of Washington in history. Details below have been updated to include changes made by lawmakers and the White House early Wednesday morning. Please note that the bill has not yet been released in its entirety.
Here are some key provisions as reported by NPR, CNBC, Washington Times and from the previous CARES Act:
About $500 billion in direct payments to American workers and families:
The bill calls for direct cash payments to Americans. The cash payments would go as high as $1,200 per person and $2,400 per married couple. Individuals with an adjusted gross income of less than $75,000, and $150,000 for joint filers, would receive the full payment. Anyone earning over that amount would see their payments reduced by $5 for each $100 in income over that amount. The benefit completely phases out for individuals earning over $99,000 and married couples making more than $198,000.
Businesses with fewer than 500 employees could apply for fee-free loans of up to $10 million that could help cover payroll, employee salaries, mortgages, rent and some other debt obligations. Businesses that retain their employees and payroll levels between March 1, 2020, and June 30, 2020, would have any of that money used for payments on preexisting debt and payroll forgiven.
The bill also includes the following for businesses affected by the crisis:
- A $350 billion fund for small businesses to mitigate layoffs and support payroll.
- $500 billion available to the Treasury Department to make loans, loan guarantees and investments to or in industries damaged by the pandemic.
- Requires that recipients of loans do not buy back stock during the time the loan is outstanding, and that executives or employees who made more than $425,000 in 2019 do not get a raise for the next two years.
- An employee retention tax credit.
- Strengthened unemployment insurance, which could potentially add $600 per week for up to four months on top of what a state would give beneficiaries.
Industry-specific loan guarantees
The bill includes $208 billion in loan guarantees for industries that are hurting because of the coronavirus. This includes up to $50 billion for airlines, $8 billion for cargo carriers and $150 billion for other unnamed businesses.
The bill would require the Food and Drug Administration to prioritize and expedite the review of new drugs. It also includes requirements that insurers pay for COVID-19 testing without a fee for patients; free coverage, without cost sharing, of certain vaccines as they become available; and $1.32 billion in additional funding for community health centers.
The bill also includes the following:
- $240 billion in health-care relief
- $75 billion in aid for hospitals
- $20 billion for health care for veterans
- $4.5 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The legislation would move the tax-filing deadline from April 15 to July 15 for most filers.
The bill allows for people to defer payments on federal student loans and allows students whose universities have canceled classes to keep Pell Grants.
Notice how the Republican bill is 247 pages long as compared to the Democrat House bill that is over 1,000 pages. Republicans are committed to delivering meaningful relief to the American people and not wasting billions of dollars on programs that have nothing to do with the crisis.