Senate unanimously passes $2.2 trillion coronavirus aid plan, largest economic relief bill in U.S. history

WASHINGTON (WXXV) — The U.S Senate passed a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package late Wednesday night. The vote was unanimous, 96–0.

The economic rescue package will steer aid to businesses, workers and health care systems engulfed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 880-page measure is the largest economic relief bill in U.S. history. Here’s what’s in it:

  • Direct payments of $1,200 to most individuals making up to $75,000, or $2,400 for couples making up to $150,000. Each dependent child increases the amount by an additional $500. The amount decreases for individuals with incomes above $75,000, and payments cut off for those above $99,000.
  • Expanded unemployment benefits that boost the maximum benefit by $600 per week and provide laid-off workers their full pay for four months. Eligibility is extended to independent contractors and the self-employed.
  • $367 billion in loans for small businesses
  • $150 billion for state and local governments
  • $130 billion for hospitals
  • $500 billion in loans for larger industries, including $25 billion for passenger airlines; $4 billion for carriers; $3 billion for aviation contractors and $17 billion for “businesses critical to maintaining national security.
  • Creation of an oversight board and inspector general to oversee loans to large companies
  • Measure prohibiting companies owned by President Trump and his family from receiving federal relief
  • $25 million for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
  • $400 million for election security grants

The unanimous vote Wednesday came despite misgivings on both sides about whether it goes too far or not far enough. It caps days of difficult negotiations as Washington confronted a national challenge unlike any it has ever faced.

The package is intended as relief for an economy spiraling into recession or worse and a nation facing a grim toll from an infection that’s killed nearly more than 21,000 people worldwide.

Categories: Community Headlines, National News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *