What’s in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security bill?
As the U.S. fights to flatten the curve of the coronavirus pandemic, people and businesses are struggling. While many Americans find themselves out of work, businesses and manufacturers fight to stay afloat.
In response to the pandemic, congressional lawmakers are finalizing a $2 trillion dollar stimulus bill that will help regular Americans, businesses, and hard-hit industries with cash and other assistance.
Here are some of the highlights of the current bill’s draft:
How does the bill affect individuals?
Direct Payments to Individuals
Under the plan, individuals who earn $75,000 in adjusted gross income or less would get direct payments of $1,200 each, with married couples earning up to $150,000 receiving $2,400 — and an additional $500 per each child. The payment would scale down by income, phasing out entirely at $99,000 for singles and $198,000 for couples without children.
Massive Increase in Unemployment Benefits
According to the bill, jobless workers using unemployment insurance will get an extra $600 a week for four months on top of their state benefits.
Also, while state benefits currently last 12 to 28 weeks, the bill will add 13 extra weeks of extended benefits funded by the federal government.
On top of the extra and extended benefits, the bill will allow for a new pandemic unemployment program, which will give jobless benefits to people who are unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable to work because of the virus. These benefits will be especially helpful for independent contractors, the self-employed, and gig economy workers, many of which aren’t typically eligible for such assistance.
Student Loan Payments Suspended
Student loan borrowers will be able to wait to make payments until September 30 without penalty.
Delay on REAL ID Deadline
The current deadline to obtain a federally mandated identification card, the REAL ID, is September 2020. However, this bill will push the deadline to September 2021.
Protection Against Foreclosures and Evictions
The bill states that anyone facing hardship because of the coronavirus will receive forbearance on a federally backed mortgage loan. The forbearance will last for up to 60 days, but it can be extended for four more periods of 30 days each.
Likewise, no fees, penalties, or additional interest can be charged because of late payments, and those with federally backed mortgage loans can’t evict tenants due to late payments for a 120-day period.
What about businesses?
$500 Billion in Loans
$500 billion in loans, loan guarantees, and investments will be provided by the Treasury Department. $25 billion will go to passenger air carriers, $17 billion to businesses working in national security, and $4 billion to cargo carriers. The remaining $454 billion will provide loans to other businesses, municipalities, and states.
There is a special provision for mid-sized businesses (500-10,000 employees) and nonprofits where payments won’t be due until six months after the loan is issued.
The legislation also prohibits federally elected officials and their immediate family from the $500 billion dollar program, which means that Trump businesses won’t get any money.
$100 Billion to Hospitals
$100 billion will go to a public health and social emergency fund, with $65 billion going directly to hospitals and the rest going to doctors, nurses, suppliers, and others.
Help for the Airline Industry
The bill provides $32 billion in grants to the airline industry, which has been severely crippled by the pandemic. The $32 billion are broken down to $25 billion for passenger airlines, $4 billion to cargo airlines, and $3 billion for industry contractors.
Another $29 billion will be offered to the airline industry in the form of loans and loan guarantees, with $25 billion available for passenger airlines and $4 billion available to cargo airlines.
The bill also provides funding for many other programs. Here’s a quick breakdown of other important things the $2 trillion dollar bill will provide financial relief for during the coronavirus pandemic:
$1.2 billion to the Defense Department for the National Guard’s coronavirus response.
$25 million to support the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in D.C.
$75 million for the National Endowment for the Arts.
$450 million for The Emergency Food Assistance Program.
$200 million for food assistance in Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories.
$100 million for food distribution on American Indian reservations.
$324 million for “Evacuation Expenses.”
$88 million for Peace Corps.
$324 million for diplomatic programs.
$258 million for international disaster assistance.
$350 million for migration and refugee assistance.
$95 million for USAID operating expenses.