Lawmakers, White House Finalize $2 Trillion Coronavirus Stimulus: ‘The Largest Main Street Financial Package’ in U.S. History
The Senate and the White House struck a deal early Wednesday morning on a final coronavirus stimulus package, which will attempt to resuscitate an economy devastated by fears around the spread of COVID-19.
The bill will cost $2 trillion—double the price of the first stimulus draft—with an additional $4 trillion set aside for Federal Reserve lending power. It is the “largest main street financial package in the history of the United States,” said Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, at a press briefing.
Among the plan’s primary provisions are $500 billion in loan guarantees for corporations, $367 billion in loan assistance to small businesses, $130 billion for hospitals, $150 billion for state and local stabilization funds, $200 billion for “domestic priorities” like childcare, seniors, and transportation, a large expansion of unemployment insurance, as well as a $250 billion fund to make direct payments to some Americans.
The direct payment portion means a check will be sent to every individual whose income falls below $99,000 and to every married couple who takes home less than a combined $198,000. Payments will amount to $1,200 for individuals who make under $75,000, with that benefit gradually phasing out as incomes rise above that threshold. Parents can also claim an additional $500 per child.
Republicans initially required that such payments be phased in from the bottom, as well: Those with little to no income tax would have received $600, and those who made less than $2,500 would have received nothing whatsoever—a detail that drew broadsides from both sides of the aisle. That component was eliminated from the final bill; anyone who makes under $75,000 (for single individuals) will now receive the same amount.
Payments will be based on 2020 earnings, a change from the originally-stipulated and much-criticized provision that they turn on an individual’s 2018 tax filing. The Treasury Department will instead calculate each check using 2018 or 2019’s tax return (if 2019 has already been filed) but will reconc
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