It”s designed to help the economy weather the coronavirus pandemic.
Washington DC (KM) A $2.2-trillion rescue package was passed last Friday by the US House of Representatives, and immediately signed into law by the President. The legislation supports businesses, working people and their families and rushes additional resource to health care providers trying to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
“All of the House united together completely bipartisan, by voice vote, which was really, really important just to show that everybody’s coming together,”: says Maryland Congressman David Trone (D-6th), who voted in favor..
Trone says the legislation sets aside $260-billion in additional funding for unemployment insurance for those who lost their jobs as a result of the economy slowing down due to COVID-19. “This extends unemployment for an additional 13 weeks,” he says. “But it also puts on top of that–whatever their normal payment is–there’s an extra $600 weekly payment on top of your existing unemployment claim.”
And the massive package provides cash payments to most Americans. “Those who are making $75,000 or less will receive a $1200 payment to the individuals, plus another $500 per child,” he says, “Those benefits will phase out when you get up to $99,000 and above per individual.”
In addition, there is $349-billion appropriated to lend to small businesses feeling the brunt of the coronavirus outbreak. “So many are closed. They can’t pay rent. They can’t pay a mortgage. They can’t pay the utilities. They certainly can’t pay their team members,” says Congressman Trone. “So there’s $350-billion for small businesses to help them weather the storm.”
He says that money will be lent out, But if the small companies use them as they are intended, the loans will be forgiven.
Other parts of the massive package include $200-billion for hospitals, health care workers, and health research. There’s also funding for transit agencies, Housing and Urban Development Emergency Solution grants, Child Care and Development Block Grants, Low Income Home Energy Assistance and funding for law enforcement agencies to purchase personal protective gear and other necessary items.
The legislation, called Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES), was passed earlier this week by the US Senate.
“Two-trillion is the biggest bill ever to pass in the history of the United States; I’m sure in the history of the world,” Trone said. “But we’re facing a crisis of unimaginable proportions.”
By Kevin McManus