The United States Senate has finally come together and passed an economic stimulus bill to help people through the Coronavirus crisis.
The vote was unanimous, 96 to 0.
FOX News reports:
Senate OKs $2T coronavirus stimulus package in unanimous vote; House sets Friday vote
By a vote of 96-0, the Senate passed a massive $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus compromise package just before midnight Wednesday, ending days of deadlock and sending the bill to the House of Representatives — which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said will soon take up the historic measure to bring relief to individuals, small businesses, and larger corporations “with strong bipartisan support.”
The 880-page legislation is the largest economic relief bill in U.S. history. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., appeared somber and exhausted as he announced the vote. He released senators from Washington until April 20, though he promised to recall them if needed.
“96-0 in the United States Senate,” President Trump wrote on Twitter. “Congratulations AMERICA!”
See Trump’s tweet below:
96-0 in the United States Senate. Congratulations AMERICA!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 26, 2020
Senate Republicans outlined what’s included:
Provides recovery checks to most taxpayers, providing cash immediately to individuals and families. Individuals are eligible for checks up to $1,200 and married couples filing jointly are eligible for checks up to $2,400, with an extra $500 for each child. Even people with no income and or only Social Security income are eligible. So that relief is focused on those who need it most, eligibility for recovery checks is reduced starting at $75,000 in income for individuals and $150,000 in income for joint filers. Individuals with income exceeding $99,000 and joint filers with income exceeding $198,000 are ineligible. Eligibility is based on 2019 tax returns, or 2018 returns if the 2019 return has not yet been filed.
Strengthens and expands unemployment insurance for Americans who cannot work due to the coronavirus. It expands unemployment benefits to the self-employed, independent contractors, gig workers, and others. The bill provides additional benefits to each recipient of unemployment insurance for up to four months and an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits after state benefits are no longer available. For people who were employed on March 1 and have lost their job due to coronavirus, the bill provides paid leave for them as well. The bill also helps states pay for certain additional unemployment insurance costs.
Permits students to defer their student loan payments for 6 months and keep their Pell grants.
Provides nearly $350 billion in federally guaranteed loans via the Paycheck Protection Program to provide eight weeks of cash-flow assistance to small businesses who maintain their payroll during this emergency. If employers maintain their payroll, the loans would be forgiven, which would help workers to remain employed and affected small businesses and our economy to quickly snap-back after the crisis.
Allows the Paycheck Protection Program to cover payroll costs, paid sick leave, supply chain disruptions, employee salaries, health insurance premiums, mortgage payments, and other debt obligations to provide immediate access to capital for small businesses who have been impacted by the coronavirus.
Provides $17 billion in small business debt relief by requiring the Small Business Administration to pay all principal, interest, and fees on all existing SBA loan products for six months to provide relief to small businesses negatively affected by the coronavirus.
Provides $10 billion for expanded eligibility for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans, including emergency grants, an advance of $10,000 within three days to maintain payroll, provide paid sick leave, and to service other debt obligations.
This will help a lot of people.