The Senate reached an agreement on a $2 trillion stimulus package after hours and days of deliberation.
It took until the wee hours of Wednesday morning, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced an agreed-upon $2 trillion bipartisan stimulus bill aimed at stabilizing the economy and U.S. citizens' households in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.
“This is a very important bipartisan piece of legislation that is going to be very important to help American workers, American business and people across America,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. “We couldn’t be more pleased.”
Though the full details have not yet been made public, the historic bill is bigger than any other legislation in U.S. history and will supposedly include the following:
- $250 billion for direct payment to U.S. citizens, in the form of $1,200 checks to adults (or $2,400 to couples) whose income is less than $75,000 (the amount scales down for income levels between $75,000 and $99,000; adults whose income exceeds $99,000 do not qualify). For couples, the thresholds double. An additional $500 per child may also be part of this deal.
- $250 billion in additional unemployment benefits (potentially $600/week for four months, in addition to state unemployment benefits)
- A $367 billion loan program to assist small businesses
- A $500 billion loan fund for industries, cities, and states
- $150 billion for state/local stimulus funds
- $130 billion for hospitals
The Senate plans to vote on the legislation on Wednesday afternoon. If passed, the bill would move on to the House of Representatives, which is tricky, considering it's currently out of session. There are a few options to expedite House approval, including "unanimous consent," which would only require two members of the House to be present (but all members would have to be in agreement), or a day-long vote, during which the members of the House would spread out their visits to the chambers to vote over the course of a day.
Even if the bill passes and becomes law, estimates are that individuals wouldn't see their stimulus checks until May at the earliest.
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