New stimulus package extends unemployment, supports small businesses
The massive stimulus package negotiated between the Trump administration and congressional leaders early Wednesday is an unprecedented $2 trillion aid package designed to help the public and the economy to rebound from the coronavirus pandemic.
The bill provides direct help to citizens, businesses, hospitals and state and local governments. It needs to be passed by the Senate and the House. A Senate vote may come as soon as Wednesday.
Here are some of the provisions.
- Big Businesses: About $500 billion can be used to back loans and assistance to companies, including $50 billion for loans to U.S. airlines, as well as state and local governments.
- Small Businesses: More than $350 billion to aid small businesses.
- Hospitals: A $150 billion boost for hospitals and other health-care providers for equipment and supplies.
- Individuals: Direct payments to lower- and middle-income Americans of $1,200 for each adult, as well as $500 for each child. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said checks would be cut April 6.
- Unemployed: Unemployment insurance extension to four months, bolstered by $600 weekly. Eligibility would be expanded to cover more workers.
- Restrictions on Business Aid: Any company receiving a government loan would be subject to a ban on stock buybacks through the term of the loan plus one additional year. They also would have to limit executive bonuses and take steps to protect workers.
- Transparency: The Treasury Department would have to disclose the terms of loans or other aid to companies, and a new Treasury inspector general would oversee the lending program.
- Democrats: Won language that would bar any business owned by President Donald Trump or his family from getting loans from Treasury. Businesses owned by members of Congress, heads of executive departments and Vice President Mike Pence also would be blocked.