Here’s What’s in the $2 Trillion Virus Stimulus Package

John Harney

(Bloomberg) -- The historic $2 trillion bill that was passed by the U.S. Senate late Wednesday to confront the coronavirus crisis will reach into many aspects of American life and business to stave off at least some of the economic damage to wrought by the pandemic.

The bill, now set for a U.S. House vote on Friday, will provide $500 billion in loans and other assistance to big companies as well as besieged states and cities, and $350 billion in aid to small businesses.

And the legislation will provide direct payments to most Americans and significantly bolster unemployment insurance benefits.

Here are the details of the 883-page bill.

About $500 billion will be dedicated to loans and assistance to companies affected by the virus, as well as state and local governments. The Treasury Department will be charged with administering the program.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. The companies also would have to limit executive bonuses and take steps to protect workers. In addition, borrowers have to make a “good faith certification” that they will stay neutral in any union organizing effort over the term of the loan.The deal includes $17 billion in loans for companies deemed critical to national security, which is intended to assist Boeing Co. though the legislation doesn’t mention the company by name.For airlines, there will be $25 billion in grants, with conditions, and $25 billion in loans to passenger carriers, $3 billion to airline contractors providing ground staff such as caterers, while cargo haulers would see $4 billion in grants.Small businesses would receive more than $350 billion in aid, but they must agree to retain workers. Some business groups have already expressed concern about how long it will take for the businesses to get the money.Individuals are eligible for checks up to $1,200 and married couples filing jointly are eligible for checks up to $2,400, with an extra $500 for each child. The higher the income, the less money is received, with a cutoff for individuals earning more than $99,000 and couples with income above $198,000.Even people with no income and those on Social Security will receive payments.The U.S. Federal Reserve will be empowered to pump $4 trillion in direct aid to local governments and industries and local governments.U.S. hospitals and other health-care providers, some of which are already under strain because of coronavirus outbreaks, will be provided $150 billion for equipment and supplies.To ensure transparency, the Treasury Department would have to disclose the terms of loans or other aid to companies.The bill would provide $16 billion to replenish the nation’s stockpile of medical supplies and $3.5 billion to expand production and development of coronavirus-related vaccines and tests.Assistance given to companies will be monitored by a congressional panel and an inspector general who will work out of the Treasury Department but must be confirmed by the Senate.Democrats won language that would bar any business owned by President Donald Trump or his family from getting loans from Treasury. Businesses owned by members of Congress, heads of executive departments and Vice President Mike Pence also would be blocked.States get $400 million in election assistance for 2020 voting amid the coronavirus pandemic, allowing them to increase the ability to vote by mail, expand early voting and online registration.Scheduled cuts to Medicare and Medicaid will be rolled back, a step that would give providers billions more dollars in coming months, and extend until November federal programs such as community health centers that are working on the front lines of the outbreak.Unemployment insurance would be enhanced by $600 weekly for four months, something that drew objections from some Republican senators. Eligibility would be expanded to cover more workers.Student loan payments can be deferred for six months.Distillers that are using their facilities to produce hand sanitizer during the crisis could also qualify for a provision in the bill that eliminates the federal excise taxes they would normally owe. The Distilled Spirits Council pushed for the change.

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