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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

U.S. government plans to send money to Americans

Discussions and negotiations in Congress over sending money to the American public and small businesses in order to help flood the economy with money and keep struggling Americans afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic came to a breakthrough early Wednesday morning, March 25, and came to a pass late Wednesday afternoon. The bill proposed would be a $2.2 trillion stimulus package designed to stabilize households and small businesses across the country and provide money to hospitals, and state and local governments and an attempt to jumpstart the economy.
The voting of the bill occurs around the same time as the Center for Disease Control announced that the United States now has 55,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and around the same time as two Democratic senators were confirmed to have the coronavirus, along with Republican Senator Rand Paul. As of Friday, March 27, the number of confirmed cases in the United States rose to over 85,000, more than China and Italy, becoming the global epicenter for the pandemic.
Full details of the bill were detailed late in the afternoon on March 25, with Senate leaders on both sides working together to get the details of the bill written and passed as quickly as possible. The bill would send money to American citizens, provide more money in assistance for hospitals, small businesses, and state and local governments. American citizens who make up to $75,000 a year would receive checks for $1,200 dollars; couples making up to $150,000 a year would receive $2,400 with $500 per child. The amount one would receive would decrease the more money they make per year; including those who make more than $75,000 and up to $99,000 per individual per year or $198,000 for couples. $100 billion in assistance would be provided to hospitals; $350 billion in assistance for small businesses; $500 billion in aid for corporations (i.e. airlines and cruise lines) who have been hurt by the outbreak; and $150 billion for state and local stimulus funds. The stimulus package bill was passed in the Senate with an unanimous vote of 96-0, making it the largest emergency aid package in US history.
Details of the bill that have been released also include businesses that are controlled by President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and other members of Congress from receiving loans or investments. Negotiations between both Senate Republicans and Senate Democrats over how much money should be designated to certain areas.
Early negotiations, Democrats opposed $500 billion for big corporations, and the Republican plan would not have dedicated enough money to hospitals. Many senators on both sides are working from their home states and trying to push this bill forward to get to the president’s desk as soon as possible. Final legislation of the bill was released in the evening of March 25. According to CNN, “key elements of the proposal are $250 billion set aside for direct payment to individuals and families, $350 billion in small business loans, $250 billion in unemployment benefits and $500 billion in loans for distressed companies.” Details of the bill also include funding for hard hit hospitals, $130 billion.
The passing of the bill becomes the third round of emergency legislation Congress has approved in order to combat the outbreak. An $8.3 billion bill for health agencies and a $100 billion bill for free coronavirus testing, some paid leave and unemployment, and Medicaid funding and food assistance were the two previous bills passed. As details over the relief stimulus bill are negotiated, lawmakers in Congress hope to get the bill on the president’s desk and signed by the end of the week. The stimulus package bill was passed in the Senate and House, now to be passed onto the president’s desk to be signed.
Sites used: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/white-house-senate-reach-deal-massive-2-trillion-coronavirus-spending-n1168136 https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/03/25/trump-senate-coronavirus-economic-stimulus-2-trillion/ https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/25/politics/stimulus-senate-action-coronavirus/index.html

About the Contributor
Genevieve Santilli, News Writer