#BlueStarBrief: US Economic Response to Coronavirus

The US Economic Response to Coronavirus
March 26, 2020

U.S. Agrees on Emergency Relief.
  • On March 25, U.S. Congressional leaders and the White House finalized a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus and "emergency relief" package to confront the coronavirus pandemic. The legislation will provide support to workers, small businesses, large industries, state governments, and private and public hospitals.
  • The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act — "CARES Act" — marks the largest economic rescue package in U.S. history. Click here for the full text of the bill.
  • The Senate approved the plan unanimously on March 25, setting the stage for a vote in the House of Representatives expected to be held on March 27.

Who does the package help?
  • The package aims to reach a cross-section of the United States of America. It will provide direct relief to individuals and their families by sending money to U.S. taxpayers. It will also expand unemployment insurance benefits to include part-time and self-employed workers; increase unemployment payments by $600; defer federal student loan payments; support increased child-care; and increase assistance for seniors.
  • The CARES Act will provide up to $1,200 for adults earning up to $75,000, plus another $500 per child, and reduced sums for adults earning up to $99,000. Approximately 80% of U.S. adults are expected to qualify. A stimulus calculator is available here.
  • The deal also will provide much needed financial assistance to small businesses, industries, and the health care sector. For the U.S. airline industry, it provides $29 billion in grants to passenger airlines to pay employees and an additional $3 billion for contractors, plus an additional $29 billion in loans and loan guarantees. It also provides $17 billion for "businesses critical to maintaining national security."
  • The package directs $100 billion to hospitals and state health care systems and provides $150 billion in emergency aid for state and local governments.

What happens next?


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