This $2.2 trillion relief package is the largest in American history. Included are direct payments, an expansion of unemployment insurance, and loans for small businesses.
Below, we list a combination of realtime feedback from sources inside the Federal Government & published reports from credible sources (think New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Washington Post only). As such, we are working diligently to reconcile these figures to $2 trillion.
Also, the White House has invoked the Defense Production Act. Thank you to our friends at SMI, we have DPA and COVID-19 detailing the on the basis of this authority, and what is allowed and SMI’s primary experience in this field.
- $27 billion for BARDA ($16 billion of that for the Strategic National Stockpile and $3.5 billion for medical countermeasures)
- $950 million more for the NIH
- $75 million for the NSF on virus ecology, genomics, and molecular biology
- $415 million for DoD medical programs
- $1 billion for the Defense Production Act (not clear if that is for loans or cash…waiting on the final language)
- A $500 billion loan program for businesses: as of 36 hours ago this was the biggest sticking point between Democrats and Republicans throughout the negotiations…$500 billion in emergency loans both for large businesses and municipalities grappling with the coronavirus outbreak. Clearing the Senate as of 25 March early morning eastern time. A slew of additional conditions, championed by progressives and supported by the public, including a requirement for companies to implement a $15 minimum wage, have not made it into the final legislation.
- “Unemployment insurance on steroids”: Schumer announced Monday afternoon that unemployment insurance will be expanded to grapple with a new surge in claims, calling it “unemployment insurance on steroids.” The new bill will increase unemployment insurance by $600 per week for four months. This money is in addition to what states pay as a base unemployment salary. This benefit would extend to gig economy workers, freelancers, and furloughed workers who are still getting health insurance from their employers, but are not receiving a paycheck.
- Expanded funds for hospitals, medical equipment, and health care worker protections: In a statement, Schumer reported to Senate Democrats that the latest bill will contain $150 billion for hospitals treating coronavirus patients. Of that money, $100 billion will go to hospitals, $1 billion will go to the Indian Health Service, and the remainder will be used to increase medical equipment capacity.
- Increased aid to state and local governments: Schumer also said about $150 billion of federal money would be allocated for state and local governments who are dealing with the impacts of the crisis in their local communities, including $8 billion for tribal governments.
- Direct payments to adults below a certain income threshold: The legislation would include a one-time $1,200 check that would be sent to most adults making $75,000 or less annually, according to past tax returns. A $500 payment would also be sent to cover every child in qualifying households. The final policy marks a significant change from the direct payments initially proposed by Republicans, which would have given less to many individuals who do not have taxable income. It now includes the majority of adults who are under the $75,000 threshold and phases the payment out as people’s incomes increase.
- Loans to small businesses: There would be $367 billion in the bill aimed at providing loans for small businesses, according to the Washington Post.
What comes next
The package is in final stages of a Senate vote and then heads over to the House, where Democrats also have their own $2.5 trillion economic stimulus bill, which Pelosi unveiled on Monday. In order to proceed expeditiously, it’s quite possible the House will simply take up the Senate deal, rather than going to conference to hash out differences between the two chambers.
If so, its next challenge will be figuring out how best to vote on it.
Given the fact that many House members are currently working remotely, there’s the possibility that lawmakers approve the legislation via a process known as unanimous consent, when a bill is able to pass as long as no one objects to it, even if most members aren’t physically present.
House Rules Chair Jim McGovern has urged his colleagues to consider unanimous consent or voice voting with the members who are present, instead of remote voting.
More as it becomes avaiable. As always, feel free to reach us directly on (650) 937-9164 and firstname.lastname@example.org.