Congress approves third round of stimulus funding
By Sherman Greer
March 27, 2020
On March 27, the United House of Representatives followed the Senate’s action and unanimously passed in a voice vote a third economic stimulus package in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. President Trump signed the bi-partisan measure into law only a few hours later.
H.R. 748, legislation also known as the CARES Act, appropriates $2.2 trillion designed to not only protect workers and families, but also to protect jobs as the pandemic progresses and Americans return work.
Here is what the bill provides:
- Maximum Tax Rebate payments of $1,200 for individuals who earn less than $75,000 in adjusted gross income; $2,400 for married couples earning up to $150,000. Additionally, $500 would be allocated for each child in the household. Smaller payments would be made to individuals with gross incomes between $75,000 and $99,000 and for married couples up to $198,000.
- $377 billion in small business loans. Loans used to pay employees or utilities are forgivable.
- Suspension of federal student loan payments for six months; interest will NOT accrue through September 30, 2020
- $250 billion in unemployment insurance that would cover an additional 4 months—some recipients may receive benefits equivalent to their regular pay check
- $500 billion in loans to distressed companies
- $130 billion to hospitals.
- $30 billion in emergency education funding
- $35 billion in emergency transit funding
- $4 billion to cargo carriers
- $150 billion to state and local government
Taxpayers should expect to receive the Tax Rebate payments in three weeks.
In other legislative news, Congress recessed until March 31. Reports indicate they may debate a fourth stimulus package upon return. Benefits that may be considered include:
- 15 percent increase in SNAP funding
- Additional funding for state and local government pandemic response
- Additional protection for first responders
- Funding to offset COVID-19 treatment costs
- Funding to stabilize pensions