Stimulus package: Here's what Americans can expect from the $2tn coronavirus deal

Stimulus package: Here’s what Americans can expect from the $2tn coronavirus deal

The Senate is poised to approve a $2tn economic stimulus measure, leaving millions of Americans to wonder what’s in it for them.

The short answer is, among other things, as former NFL star Randy Moss once said: “Straight cash, homie.” For some Americans, at least.

Mr Moss was answering a reporter’s questions about how he paid his league-issued fines when he stepped out of line, as he was known to do. But what Senate Democrats and Trump administration officials worked out includes direct payments for Americans that are intended to help them cope with possible lost jobs and wages due to the pandemic.

Bars, restaurants, gyms and other businesses have been forced to close by local officials eager to staunch the spread of the highly contagious bug. That has left hundreds of thousands of Americans out of work, with an expected devastating jobs report due from the Labor Department later this week.

“At last, we have a deal,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in the wee hours of Wednesday morning. “After days of intense discussions, the Senate has reached a bipartisan agreement on a historic relief package for this pandemic.”

After the deal was on-and-off-and-on again during two days of homestretch negotiations that featured a bevy of barbs between Republicans and Democrats, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said his side “rather than accept such a fundamentally flawed, partisan bill, Senate Democrats have been working hard on a bipartisan bill with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and President Trump,” adding: “I am pleased to report that our hard work has paid off.”

Here’s what Americans can expect once the bill gets to Donald Trump‘s desk. His top spokeswoman said he will sign it into law.

Direct payments: Those who make less than $75,000 annually are set to receive payments of $1,200, with children in qualifying households garnering those families $500 more each.

Business loans: Own a small business? There is a fund included in the measure that would provide small companies some help to get through the pandemic. That account would get $367bn.

Hospital help: Schumer said in a statement that the final deal includes $150bn for hospitals, emergency equipment and items for medical workers. Of that amount $100bn. The Democratic leader crowed that his side secured additional funding during this week’s closed-door talks, but a senior Republican aide disputed that, saying: “There was always going to be tens and tens of billions for our hospitals in the [deal]. Senator Schumer’s attempt to take credit for an increase in hospital aid is nonsensical because there was no opposition.”

Unemployment insurance on steroids”: That’s how Mr Schumer described aid monies to boost unemployment benefits. The compromise package would boost unemployment insurance by $600 each week for four months. That’s well beyond the Easter target Mr Trump has for reopening the country

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