U.S. Congress passed a $2 trillion aid package in response to the crisis unfolding from the coronavirus, which has forced businesses to close or severely curtail their business activity as states issue stay at home orders as a means of slowing the rapid spread of the virus. The package includes forgivable loans, administered by the Small Business Administration, for businesses and non-profits who use the funds to pay rent and payroll expenses in an effort to retain employees through the crisis.
The 1,100 page bill also includes a provision sending $1,200 to each adult and $500 for each child to help families pay their bills during the economic slowdown. Additionally, it provides unemployment insurance for those who lose their jobs with enhanced payments until the end of July, and benefits extending for up to 39 weeks, ending December 31, 2020.
Under the provisions of the bill, over $100 billion dollars will help keep hospitals operating as they face an ever-increasing workload and humanitarian crisis, and provide health coverage for those testing positive for the virus without health insurance. The bill also includes funding to assist with low-income housing, nutrition, and disaster relief assistance, along with community services block grants for local agencies to provide social services to those who need it going forward. More details on this bill and its impact will be forthcoming as its provisions are more thoroughly evaluated. Congressional sources are saying another aid package is already being discussed.
The Senate passed the bill 96-0 in the late hours Wednesday. The U.S. House approved the measure today by a voice vote after ensuring a quorum.
March 30, 2020 - 12:28pm