As you may have already seen on the news, The White House and US Senate leaders have struck a major deal this morning on a $2 trillion stimulus package to provide a boost in the American economy during the coronavirus pandemic. The bill was passed by the Senate on March 26, 2020. The bill is now under review by the House where Democrats have discussed passing the bill with unanimous consent (since many representatives are currently working from home and unable to be present for a vote on the House floor.) There is still a ways to go before the bill goes to the President’s desk to be signed, but great strides have been taken so far to reach this bipartisan agreement.
You may be wondering how this will affect children and their families. We have worked together to compile what relevant information we know now. Please note that the bill still needs to pass the House and be signed by the President, so this information is subject to change. Here’s what we know now:
- $250 billion was allotted to address unemployment insurance. If the bill passes, unemployment will increase by $600 per week for 4 months.
- This money would be in addition to what Indiana currently pays as a base unemployment salary.
- This benefit would extend to gig economy workers, freelancers, and furloughed workers who are still getting health insurance from their employers, but are not receiving a paycheck.
Direct payments to adults below a certain income:
- $250 billion was set aside as part of the bill to provide a one-time check of $1,200 to most adults making $75,000 (adjusted gross income) or less annually.
- A $500 payment would be sent to cover each child in qualifying households ($500 per child).
- Married couples earning together up to $150,000 a year would receive $2,400.
Loans to small businesses:
- $367 billion was allotted to provide loans to small businesses as an effort to keep employees on payrolls during the economic crisis.
Increased aid to state and local governments:
- About $150 billion will be distributed to state and local governments to deal with impacts of the coronavirus crisis in local communities.
Expanded funds for hospitals, medical equipment, and healthcare worker protections:
- About $150 billion would be sent to hospitals treating patients diagnosed with coronavirus.
- Of that money, $100 billion will go to hospitals, $1 billion will go to the Indian Health Service, and the remainder will be used to increase medical equipment capacity.
Swift passage of this bill would be the third time this week that a deeply divided congress has been able to come together to find bipartisan ways to provide additional assistance during this crisis. Earlier this week, an $8.3 billion bill was quickly passed to fund vaccine development efforts and also a bill estimated to cost more than $100 billion was passed to expand paid leave measures.