Friday, the House of Representatives approved a $2.2-T aid/stimulus bill to alleviate economic devastation of the coronavirus pandemic and sent it to President Trump to sign into law, he signed it, it is now the law.
Below are Key elements of the bill and the cost estimates provided by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
DIRECT PAYMENTS TO AMERICANS
Direct payments of up to $1,200 each to millions of Americans, with additional payments of $500 per child. Payments would be phased out for those earning more than $75,000 a year. Those earning more than $99,000 would not be eligible.
Estimated cost: $290-B
ENHANCED UNEMPLOYMENT AID
Payments for jobless workers would increase by $600/week. Laid-off workers would get those payments for up to 4 months. Regular benefits, which typically run out after 6 months in most states, would be extended for an additional 13 weeks.
Self-employed workers, independent contractors and those who typically do not qualify for unemployment benefits would be eligible. The government would also partially make up wages for workers whose hours are scaled back, in an effort to encourage employers to avoid layoffs.
Estimated cost: $260-B
SMALL BUSINESS LOANS AND GRANTS
Loans for businesses that have fewer than 500 employees could be partially forgiven if they are used for employee salaries, rent, mortgage interest and utility costs. The bill also includes emergency grants for small business.
Estimated cost: $377-B.
AID TO AIRLINES, LARGE BUSINESSES
The bill sets up a fund to support a new Fed program that offers up to $4.5-T in loans to businesses, states and cities that cannot get financing through other means, the Treasury is an intrical part of this new program.
Companies tapping the fund would not be able to engage in stock buybacks and would have to retain at least 90% of their employees through the end of September. They would not be able to boost executive pay by more than $425,000 annually, and those earning more than $3-M a year could see their salaries reduced.
The fund would be overseen by a Trump appointed IG and a congressional oversight board. The Treasury Secretary will disclose the handouts.
Businesses owned by President Trump, other administration officials or Congress members, or their family members, are not be eligible for assistance.
Loans are set aside for airlines, air cargo carriers, airline contractors and “businesses important to maintaining national security,” widely understood to be Boeing Co. (NYSE:BA)
Total cost: $504-B
GRANTS FOR AIRLINES
Airlines, air cargo carries and airline contractors also could get grants to cover payroll costs. They would have to maintain service and staffing levels, and would not be able to buy back stock or pay dividends. The US government could get stock or other equity in return. Executive pay above $425,000 a year would be frozen for 2 years, and those who earn more than $3 million annually would see their salaries reduced.
Total cost: $32-B
MONEY FOR STATES, HOSPITALS, EDUCATION
– $150-B for state, local and Native American tribal governments
– $100-B for hospitals and other elements of the healthcare system
– $16-B for ventilators, masks and other medical supplies
– $11-B for vaccines and other medical preparedness
– $4.3-B for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
– $45-B in disaster relief
– $30-B for education
– $25-B for mass-transit systems
– $10-B in borrowing authority for the US Postal Service
– $1-B for the Amtrak passenger rail service and $10-B for airports, which are experiencing a drop in passengers
– A refundable 50% payroll tax credit for businesses affected by the coronavirus, to encourage employee retention. Employers would also be able to defer payment of those taxes if necessary. Cost: $67-B
– Loosened tax deductions for interest and operating losses. Cost: $210-B
– Suspension of penalties for people who tap their retirement funds early. Cost: $5-B
– Tax write-offs to encourage charitable deductions and encourage employers to help pay off student loans. Cost: $3-B
– Waiving of federal tax on distilled spirits used to make hand sanitizer
INCREASED SAFETY NET SPENDING
– $42-B in additional spending for food stamps and child nutrition
– $12-B for housing programs
– $45-B for child and family services
– A ban on foreclosing on federally backed mortgages through mid-May, and a 4-month ban on evictions by landlords who rely on federal housing programs.
Have a healthy weekend, stay at home!