$2 Trillion package to rescue economy during COVID-19 pandemic

Thursday, 26 Mar, 2020

The lesser-known provisions were stuffed into the $2 trillion package during marathon negotiations between Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY and Republicans, which ended early Wednesday in a deal.

Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told the Senate that after almost a week of "arduous" negotiations that they now have a bipartisan agreement on the largest rescue package in American history but its passing is not a moment of celebration but of necessity to help Americans suffering medically and financially due to the coronavirus that is rapidly spreading throughout the country. The deal also provides $1,200 to most American adults, plus $500 per child.

Pelosi meanwhile unveiled a more generous, roughly $2.5 trillion counter-proposal that included ambitious elements like guaranteed paid and family medical leave, student loan forgiveness and oversight of the $500 billion earmarked for corporations.

An income cap for the checks will come at $99,000 per individual or $198,000 for couples, per NBC News and CNN.

According to Schumer, the compromise legislation includes an oversight mechanism for the company loans, and will guarantee that laid-off workers "on average, will receive their full pay for four months".

McConnell appeared on the Senate floor shortly after to say he had "good news".

Saikat Chakrabarti, former chief of staff to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday night for holding up a coronavirus stimulus package to fight for stricter emissions standards for airlines. It ensures that all workers are protected whether they work for businesses small, medium or large, along with self-employed and workers in the gig economy. "We've focused specifically on advocating for self-employed and small business relief in these emergency response packages and will continue to do so as more proposals are considered".

- $30 billion for education, according to Schumer.

"State, local, and tribal governments that are propping up local health systems on their own were originally left out of the Republican bill entirely".

More than $10 billion for the Indian Health Services, and other tribal programs.

It also prohibits businesses controlled by the president, vice president, members of Congress and heads of executive departments from participating in the loan or investment programs, Schumer's office said. Those who meet requirements would have costs such as utilities, mortgage interest and rent forgiven.

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.

There were also provisions for supporting small business, and for a special inspector general to oversee the administration of funds.

Republicans won inclusion of an "employee retention" tax credit that's estimated to provide $50 billion to companies that retain employees on payroll and cover 50 percent of workers' paychecks.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the $3.8 billion allocated to his state was not almost enough.