The Senate unanimously passed the largest stimulus package in U.S. history just before midnight on March 25.
The Senate and White House had reportedly reached an agreement earlier in the day but a continued debate on certain provisions held up the bill.
At last, we have a deal.— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) March 25, 2020
After days of intense discussions, the Senate has reached a bipartisan agreement on a historic relief package for this pandemic.
We’re going to pass this legislation later today.
Majority Leader McConnell made good on his tweet with less than an hour to spare and now the bill will head to the House where it is expected to pass by Friday. Both Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Donald Trump have indicated they plan to fully support the bill.
The Senate approved its largest emergency aid package in modern history that will offer $2 trillion to help Americans, hospitals and businesses weather the effects of the coronavirus. The vote late Wednesday night was 96-0. https://t.co/nJS4JQrxyA— USA TODAY Politics (@usatodayDC) March 26, 2020
We have analyzed the sprawling bill and pulled the most relevant information as it pertains to you, your employees, and your business below.
The payout for individuals includes:
- a check for $1,200 for individuals earning up to $75,000, with the payout reducing the higher the income until it reaches zero after $99,000.
- a check for $2,400 for married couples earning less $150,000, with the payout reducing the higher the income until it reaches zero after $198,000.
- an additional check of $500 per child for households with children.
- deferred payments of payroll taxes from 2020 until 2021 or 2022.
- another $600 of unemployment benefits a week could be added on top of state unemployment benefits for up to four months.
- 13 weeks of extended benefits.
CNN is reporting that Senator Chuck Schumer said they would like to get one-time checks out by April 6. In the past, this has taken several weeks, but hopefully using direct deposit and other technology can make the process quicker. Other reports say checks will arrive in May.
The average American has weekly earnings of $930. This highlights how the checks are meant to help people stay afloat. Congress is not encouraging citizens to spend this income to stimulate the economy. Three senators nearly held up the bill as they believed the unemployment benefits were greater than minimum wage and could disincentivize workers when they are needed most.
The stimulus also includes the following for businesses:
- $500 billion in loans for distressed companies.
- $367 billion in small business loans (less than 500 employees)
- $250 billion for the individual payouts listed above.
- $250 billion in unemployment insurance.
- $150 billion for local and state governments.
The small business loans will be forgiven as long as businesses use the funds to keep employees on the payroll; offer paid sick leave; pay insurance; make mortgage payments; and pay utilities.
Specific language was written into the bill so workers who were laid off may be rehired as the program can be retroactive to February 15, 2020.
The maximum loan amount that can be borrowed against are either two-and-a-half times the monthly payroll or $10,000,000, whichever figure is lower. These loans do not require any collateral and are available to locations that have less than 500 employees.
We will update this as more information is released and decisions are made regarding which industries and companies will be receiving financial aid.