Thursday, March 26, 2020

Massive Relief Bill Approved By Senate

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
In a midnight vote, the U.S. Senate approved a massive $2 trillion bill to send checks to furloughed workers, help small businesses survive, infuse cash into critical industries and assist the hospital system in the fight against coronavirus.

The bill includes direct payments to taxpayers within certain income limits and expanded unemployment benefits for workers who have been temporarily laid off.

➤THE NUMBERS: The relief package is the biggest spending measure in American history. But it contains only enough money to keep people going and prop up the economy for a few months. Some key details:

Payments to Taxpayers: 
Direct payments will be received by most taxpayers. The numbers are: $1,200 for individuals with adjusted gross incomes up to $75,000 (up to $112,500 for heads of households and $150,000 for married couples filing jointly.)
An additional $500 will be paid for each child in a family.
Smaller payments will go to people above those levels. The amount will decrease by $5 for every $100 of adjusted gross income.
The payments will be based on taxpayer returns for 2018 or for 2019 for those who have already filed their returns.
The White House says it will aim to deliver the checks three weeks after the bill is signed.

Benefits for Unemployed Workers
Unemployment benefits will be extended by 13 weeks and payment amounts will be increased by up to $600 per week for 16 weeks. Eligibility is expanded to include gig workers and freelancers.

Assistance for Businesses
Federally guaranteed loans for small businesses if they commit to not laying off workers.
A total $500 billion to be loaned to corporations.
A total $100 billion to hospitals to pay for personnel, supplies and new construction.
A special provision bans any funds from being awarded to businesses controlled by President Trump and his family, members of Congress or Cabinet secretaries.

➤WHAT HAPPENS NEXT: The bill next goes to the U.S. House of Representatives, which is expected to pass it as early as the end of this week. President Donald Trump has said he will immediately sign it. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has promised that the checks will be sent about three weeks later.

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