Largest Rescue Deal In U.S. History
After days of intense negotiations and false starts, Senate leaders have struck a historic deal to inject the U.S. economy with about $2 trillion in aid in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The plan marks the largest rescue package in American history. The legislation covers an array of programs, including:
- Direct payments to Americans
- An aggressive expansion of unemployment insurance
- Billions in aid to large and small businesses
- A new wave of significant funding for the health care industry
- The plan will rush financial assistance to Americans with direct checks to households in the middle class and in lower income levels, McConnell said. Previously, Republicans said this would amount to $1,200 to most American adults, among other payments.
- An extended unemployment insurance program for laid-off workers that will allow for four months of "full pay," according to Schumer, rather than the usual three months for most. It will also raise the maximum unemployment insurance benefit by $600 per week. It will apply to traditional workers for small and large businesses as well as those who are self-employed and workers in the gig economy. This was a key Democratic initiative, which Schumer dubbed "unemployment insurance on steroids."
- More than $150 billion for the health care system, including funding for hospitals, research, treatment and the Strategic National Stockpile to raise supplies of ventilators, masks and other equipment. Of that, $100 billion will go to hospitals and the health system and $1 billion to the Indian Health Service.
- $150 billion to state and local governments to address spending shortages related to the coronavirus pandemic.
- $350 billion for small businesses impacted by the pandemic in the form of loans; some of those loans could be forgiven.
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