What's in the $2-Trillion Coronavirus Bailout

Andrew Cummings
March 26, 2020

More than $150 billion for the health care system, including funding for hospitals, research, treatment and the Strategic National Stockpile to raise supplies of ventilators, masks and other equipment.

The bill is the third congressional effort to aid America in the grip of the outbreak and is the largest effort taken thus far.

Graham is one of a handful of Republican senators who raised objections to an unemployment compensation provision in the bill.

The plan in the Senate is to finish writing the legislative text this morning and then pass the bill this afternoon. Individuals who make $75,000 or less and married couples making up to $150,000 will receive $1,200 per adult and $500 per child.

The upper chamber passed the bill in a 96-0 vote, well above the 60-vote threshold.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said before the Senate's vote that the Democrat-controlled House will take up the 883-page bill Friday morning.

The half-trillion-dollar "corporate rescue fund" has been among the most controversial elements of the plan, in large part because the Trump administration sought to structure it in such a way as to ensure minimal transparency and accountability.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said his party was willing to pass the bill as quickly as possible. On the other side of Capitol Hill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has already endorsed the broad contours of the Senate compromise, but many House members are unavailable, especially after their recent interactions with two lawmakers who've since tested positive for COVID-19. Democrats secured concessions on all three in the final deal. Furloughed workers would get whatever amount a state usually provides for unemployment, plus a $600-per-week add-on, with gig workers like Uber drivers covered for the first time.

Interestingly, the bill has provisions that would block Trump and his family members, as well as other top government officials and members of Congress, from accessing loans or investments from Treasury programmes in the stimulus package.

Schumer boasted of negotiating wins for transit systems, hospitals and cash-hungry state governments that were cemented after Democrats blocked the measure in votes held Sunday and Monday.

The governors of at least 18 states, including NY, have issued stay-at-home directives affecting about half the USA population. States including NY have already expressed concern that the current deal is not enough, and many lawmakers feel additional legislation will be needed.

Still, Pelosi said the need for more money for NY is "no reason to stop the step we are taking".

Pelosi was a force behind $400 million in grants to states to expand voting by mail and other steps that Democrats billed as making voting safer but Republican critics called political opportunism. It is meant to flood the economy with cash in a bid to stem the impact of a pandemic that has killed more than 900 people in the United States and infected at least 60,000. They requested to cap bolstered unemployment benefits at 100 percent of workers' salaries, but a related amendment failed to pass. Companies would also be able to defer paying the 6.2-percent Social Security payroll tax.

A companion appropriations package ballooned as well, growing from a $46 billion White House proposal to $330 billion, which dwarfs earlier disasters - including Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy combined. But this latest deal eclipses the earlier packages in scope and spending.

Germany, Europe's biggest economy, has agreed to commit more than 1 trillion euros ($1.1 trillion) in fiscal stimulus and support - roughly 30% of that nation's entire annual output.

Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox.

In the United States, more than 69,000 people have been sickened and more than 1,000 have died.

Other reports by iNewsToday