The Senate and White House agreed overnight to a $2 trillion aid package to help blunt the economic damage being done by the worsening coronavirus outbreak. Broadly, the bill provides direct cash assistance to most Americans, includes measures intended to help small businesses retain employees, and includes loans for large corporations. Here’s a look at the details:
— The aid package includes direct payments of $1,200 to individuals earning up to $75,000 and $2,400 for married couples earning up to $150,000, and also includes $500 per child.
— In addition to direct aid, the bill includes an enhancement of unemployment coverage that extends the time a laid-off worker can receive unemployment and allows most workers to receive their full salaries or close to them, according to Senator Chuck Schumer. Unemployment insurance will also cover gig workers and freelancers, such as Uber and Lyft drivers, as well as furloughed employees who have been temporarily laid off.
State and local governments
— The bill includes $150 billion in help for state and local governments “who are so hard pressed because of all the new expenses," Schumer said Wednesday.
— $130 billion will be allocated for hospitals and other facilities, in what Democrats are calling a “Marshall Plan” for health care.
— The bill includes more than $350 billion in loans for small businesses with a provision that the loans will be forgiven if employers keep workers on their payrolls.
— $500 billion will go to struggling corporations in the form of loans, including $75 billion specifically for hard-hit industries like airlines and hotels.
— That fund will include a number of transparency and oversight measures, including public disclosure of where the loan money goes, an inspector general to oversee the program, and a provision that high-level government officials cannot benefit. Corporations receiving government aid would also be banned from so-called “stock buybacks” that critics say boost a company’s stock price and enrich executives at the expense of workers.
“Every loan document will be public and made available to Congress very quickly,” Schumer said on Wednesday.
Material from Globe wire services was used in this report.