This article was last updated on March 31
[Latest Update] In addition to the FFCRA act, Congress has now passed a much larger fiscal stimulus bill (the third one) aimed at addressing the rapidly deteriorating jobs and economic situation as the Coronavirus related shutdown continues. The new stimulus package is nearly $2 Trillion (that’s right, 12 zeros!) and is the largest such measure in US history. Known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or the “CARES Act” (H.R 748) it is designed to provide a massive and immediate boost to the American economy, while supporting many industries and small business’ hit hardest by the virus induced slowdown. Measures include
- $1,200 (singles) and $2400 (couples) direct check. Income thresholds have been established for eligibility. See details on the payment schedules here.
- Those with no federal income tax liability, would see smaller benefits or gig workers and freelancers would still be eligible for a $600 minimum payment.
- $150 billion for local and state governments
- $130 billion for hospitals to support ongoing critical patient care due to the Coronavirus.
- $350 billion in loans to airlines and other distressed industry sectors like auto makers.
- $250 billion towards the Expansion of unemployment insurance and those eligible for it (see more details)
- $300 billion in forgivable SBA loans for small businesses. This is to ensure they stay in business and reduce the need to layoff workers
- $25 billion in additional funding to supporting further testing and treatment of the Coronavirus related cases
As you can imagine lots of lobbyists are out in force trying to get bailout funds for their industries, but the main priority is to help everyday Americans. Lets see if Congress can manage that amidst all this chaos.
[Stimulus Bill #2] U.S. lawmakers and the White House have approved a massive fiscal stimulus deal for supporting economic relief amid the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. These measures were approved under a bill called the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the president is absolutely committed that this will be an entire government effort. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also confirmed that U.S. lawmakers and the White House have reached a deal on economic relief amid the Coronavirus outbreak. The following are key provisions on the fiscal stimulus package:
- Enhanced unemployment benefits. The bill provides $1 billion in 2020 for emergency grants to states for activities related to processing and paying unemployment insurance (UI) benefits,
- $400 million to assist local food banks to meet increased demand for low-income Americans during the virus outbreak
- Food assistance programs (SNAP) and federal funds for Medicaid. This includes a $500 million Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women Infants and Children.
- Paid sick leave – Ensures 14 days of paid sick leave by providing tax credits to help small- and medium-size businesses fulfill that mandate.
- Emergency Paid leave – Eligible workers will receive a benefit for a month (up to three months) in which they must take 14 or more days of leave from their work due to the qualifying COVID-19-related reasons. Days when an individual receives pay from their employer (regular wages, sick pay, or other paid time off) or unemployment compensation do not count as leave days for purposes of this benefit. The program will be administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
- Free Coronavirus testing and treatment, including the uninsured
- $250 million for the Senior Nutrition program in the Administration for Community Living (ACL) to provide home-delivered and pre-packaged meals to low-income seniors who depend on the Senior Nutrition programs in their communities.
Source : FFCRA
The Federal Reserve also released more details on its trillion dollar plus monetary stimulus measure to support crashing markets and boost credit/liquidity for American companies.
More details to come as lawmakers release additional information about these measure. Please subscribe to get the latest information.