The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a $2.2 trillion stimulus bill in the early hours of Thursday morning that will provide billions in loans to small business — some of which will not need to be paid back — and give individuals direct payments as well as greatly increased unemployment insurance benefits.
The House will vote on the bill Friday.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has indicated she supports the bill — as has President Donald Trump.
Analysts will spend days and weeks going through the 880-page bill, a legislative record for economic relief bills. Here is some of the overnight analysis, according to many media organizations:
The bill provides $250 billion in direct payments to individuals, $250 billion in increased unemployment insurance benefits, $350 billion in small business loans (some of which will not need to be paid back) and $500 billion to distressed companies.
Direct payments to individuals
There will be one-time direct payments to Americans of $1,200 per adult making up to $75,000 a year, and $2,400 to married couples making up to $150,000. There will be an additional payment of $500 per child.
There is a sliding scale reduction for those earning over that amount set at $5 for every $100 of income.
Checks could come in as soon as three weeks — faster for those who got their tax return through direct deposit.
The legislation will use 2019 tax returns, if available, to determine the amount of individual aid. If you have not filed your taxes this year — and the government recently gave an extension — 2018 tax returns will be used. If you do not file taxes, a Social Security benefit statement (form SSA-1099) or a Social Security equivalent benefit statement (form RRB-1099) will be used.
The $350 billion in loans are to be used to cover payroll and benefits up to $250 percent of the monthly payroll.
There is a tax credit for retaining employees (worth up to 50% of payroll during the crisis) for businesses that were forced to shut down or saw a drop of revenue by at least 50 % from the previous year.
Payroll taxes are delayed, with half due at the end of 2021 and the other half due by the end of 2022.
Contract workers were given provisions totaling $3 billion.
Hard-hit hospitals will share $130 billion.
Airlines were given $50 billion, half of which must be used for payroll and benefits.
An additional $600 in weekly unemployment benefits for four months will be added. In addition, the duration of payments will increase by 50%, from 26 weeks to 39 weeks.
Eligibility will be expanded to include more self-employed and independent contractors.
State and local governments
There is $150 billion for state and local governments that are cash-strapped due to their response to coronavirus.
Federal student loan payments are suspended through Sept. 30. No interest will be added.
Providers are required to cover preventive services related to coronavirus without cost sharing.
Companies that take government loans are prevented from buying back stock until a year after the loan is paid back.
Employees who made at least $425,000 last year cannot get a raise.
Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, heads of executive branch departments, members of Congress and their family members are not eligible for individual relief.
The $2 trillion stimulus is by far the largest of three measures that have been passed by Congress. Legislative leaders already have begun suggesting that a fourth relief bill will be needed down the road.
Information for this article was gathered from many major news outlets, including CNN, Fox, CNBC, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post and USA Today.
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