The Senate unanimously passed an unprecedented $2.2 trillion economic stabilization package on Wednesday, concluding days of heated negotiations between Senate Democrats and Republicans.
The stimulus package — the largest in recent history — includes a $367 billion loan program for small businesses that promise to not layoff any workers, as well as a $150 billion provision for state and local emergency aid and $100 billion for hospitals. Individual American adults who make up to $75,000 a year will also be eligible to receive a direct payment of $1,200, as well as $500 for each child, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said in a press conference on Wednesday that he expected payments to be made within three weeks.
Unemployment insurance will also receive a boost, and eligible citizens — which include freelancers, gig workers, and anyone furloughed by the pandemic — can receive an added $600 a week for four months in addition to assistance from state unemployment programs. A record 3.3 million people filed for unemployment last week, according to the Labor Department.
There will also be $500 billion in loans for industries, states and cities: $425 billion will be controlled by the Federal Reserve, and $75 billion would be allocated for specific industries like airlines and hotels. The package, which underwent several revisions after contentious debate between lawmakers — particularly over the $500 billion loan provision — also stipulates that businesses run by Trump’s family or any senior lawmakers cannot receive loans through the Federal Reserve fund.
The bill now moves on to the House of Representatives, which will conduct a voice vote on Friday, as many House members are self quarantining. It is expected to be passed quickly and sent to Donald Trump for his signature.
Wednesday night, entertainment industry organizations praised passage of the bill, including the Recording Industry Association of America. “We are grateful that the stimulus package contains emergency access to unemployment insurance for those who cannot work due to a canceled performance or a production shut down,” RIAA said in a statement. “Access to this expanded unemployment insurance will ensure that hundreds of thousands of musicians’ families across the country can continue to pay rent, put food on the table, and care for their children during this public health crisis.”
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