On Wednesday morning, the White House and US Senators have inked a deal to release USD 2 trillion to support the economy hit by Corona pandemic. Following days of marathon negotiations and tiring debate session, the country has been able to strike the deal to mark one of the most expensive measures endorsed by the Congress.
“Ladies and gentleman, we are done,” White House legislative affairs director Eric Ueland announced right before 1 a.m. after leaving Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office following negotiations that have gone around the clock since last Friday. “We have a deal.”
McConnell revealing the package said, “At last, we have a d deal. After days of intense discussions, the Senate has reached a bipartisan agreement on a historic relief package for this pandemic.” The majority leader then went on to describe the package as “a war-time level of investment for our nation,” and added that the house would move to pass it later in the day on Wednesday. The Senators will re-convene at noon while the specific time for voting has not been set as of yet.
The full details of the agreement have also yet to come. With USD 250bn set aside for direct payments to masses, USD 350bn will flow to small business as loans and another striking USD 250 bn will be invested in unemployment insurance benefits. Also $500bn will be transferred to distressed companies.
Trump, his top aides and top-ranked government officials will not be able to become the beneficiaries of the stimulus bill according to an announcement that came from Minority leader Chuck Schumer’s office.
The bill if it gets through Congress would become the most significant and far-reaching legislative action to cope with pandemic that has created a warlike situation in the country with adverse effects on the national economy.
The Minority leader while addressing the Senate in the early hours of Wednesday morning described the agreement as “the larges rescue package in American history.”
“This is not a moment of celebration but of necessity,” he added.
The deal is expected to rescue the struggling economy by the injection of financial aid as the unemployment, job loss and food insecurity would have emerged as the biggest challenges in the aftermath of Corona. Small business as well as major industries and airlines are among the worst hit by the novel virus.
Larry Kudlow who serves as Trump’s chief economic adviser described the package, “the single largest main street assistance program in the history of the United States” at a WH briefing on Tuesday.
“This legislation is urgently needed to bolster the economy, provide cash injections and liquidity and stabilize financial markets to get us through a difficult and challenging period in the economy facing us right now,” the chief aide added.
Under the negotiated deal, individuals who earn USD 75,000 or less in adjusted gross income would be entitled to receive direct payments of USD 1,200 each with married couples getting up to USD 150k would receive $2,400 and an additional $500 per each child. The funds would be truncated by the increase in income with no aid at USD 99k for singles and $198k for couples with no children.
While the final conscript is yet to be released by legislature, some of the areas have been particularly debated before the announcement. There was a rigorous dialogue over the $500bn proposal to sanction loans to distressed companies with $50bn in loans for airlines. Democrats were of the view that there must be someone to oversee and manage the accounts of the money doled out. Trump administration agreed to create a panel to inspect and review the money released and spent.
Negotiators also debated on providing four months of benefits for those who will lose their jobs and offices; the aid will expand to self-employed workers. Also, as per bill, Small Business Administration would look after for loan of up to USD 10bn for small businesses ensuring hey will maintain timely payrolls and clear the amounts they borrowed during emergency.
Additionally, the bill will also guarantee funding for health sector by lending a helping hand to clinics and hospitals. The local governments and state administration will be able to receive much needed $150bn to combat corona.