Senate Republicans release massive economic stimulus bill for coronavirus response.
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) released a massive economic stimulus bill Thursday to fight the coronavirus’s fallout.
The centerpiece of the Senate GOP plan — building on a proposal revealed Wednesday by the Treasury Department — would be hundreds of billions of dollars sent to Americans in the form of checks as a way to flood the country with money in an effort to blunt the dramatic pullback of spending that has resulted from the coronavirus outbreak.
The legislation would provide checks of $1,200 per adult for many families, as well as $500 for every child in those families. Families filing jointly would receive up to $2,400 for the adults. The size of the checks would diminish for those earning more than $75,000 and phase out completely for those earning more than $99,000. The poorest families, those with no federal income tax liability, would see smaller benefits, though the minimum would be set at $600.
The legislation McConnell released Thursday was based on what he called four “pillars” – payments to small businesses, direct cash payments to individuals, loans to industries decimated by the virus, and a surge in funding to the health-care industry.
The small-business section offers loans to small businesses with under 500 employees. The $300 billion for the loans would be made available through lenders certified by the Small Business Administration, such as banks and credit unions, with the maximum loan capped at $10 million. The portion of the loan used by the small businesses to cover their payrolls could be forgiven if firms retain their employees through the end of June 30, 2020. Loans given to firms with tipped employees, such as bars and restaurants, could be forgiven if they are used to provide additional wages to their employees.
The legislation appears to give the Treasury Department wide authority in determining which businesses qualify for this $150 billion fund.