Should Congress pass this $1 trillion economic relief bill during the coronavirus outbreak?
• “The people that need help the most are small businesses, hourly workers, people who rely on tips, and gig economy workers like Uber and Lyft drivers… The federal government should be a safety net for those who need it most. But even in times of crisis, we can’t forget about fiscal responsibility. … The proposals being debated in Congress right now include giveaways to big corporations, mandates that will shut down small businesses, and policies that I fear won’t help the people that need it most.” Source: Sen. Rick Scott (Republican, Florida)
• “Democrats support a plan that puts ‘Workers First’. That means taking bold action to help workers and small businesses first by greatly increasing unemployment insurance and Medicaid, making massive investments to help small businesses survive, expanding paid sick and family leave and putting money directly into the hands of those who need it most." Source: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Democrat, California) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (Democrat, New York)
• “It is intended to ensure that employees can make it through this period, that the small business can make it through this period, and when this crisis passes that they can unite and we’ll still have vibrant Main Street businesses employing millions of Americans… that’s the concept we’re working hard on.” Source: Sen. Susan Collins (Republican, Maine)
• “The president has instructed his team to look very expansively at what we need to do and not be impeded by the potential price tag of what's necessary here… I've said in different times, we'll fix the deficit… This is not the time to worry about it.” Source: Eric Ueland, White House Legislative Affairs Director
Awaiting Vote .
The CARES Act aims to stabilize the economy and provide economic relief in three main ways: (1) economic aid through direct payments - “recovery rebates” - to Americans under a certain income threshold. Americans can receive up to $1,200 as individuals and up to $2,400 for couples. (2) $200 billion to airlines and other such distressed industry sectors like hotels. (3) $300 billion in forgivable bridge loans for small businesses and private organizations, in an attempt at helping small businesses avoid mass layoffs. Businesses would be able to take out loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration, which could be used for salaries, mortgage payments, medical and family leave, and health care benefits. Sponsor: Sen. Mitch McConnell (Republican, Kentucky)
- McConnell Introduces the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (Press Release)
- White House Proposes $1 Coronavirus Stimulus Package (Axios)
- Democratic Leaders Criticise GOP Stimulus Bill as Being Too Pro-Business (The Hill)
- Trump’s Corporatist Response to Coronavirus Shows No Concern for National Debt (Washington Post)
- What Trump’s Trillion-Dollar Bailout Gets Right, and Wrong (Politico)
- Senate Republicans release massive economic stimulus bill for coronavirus response (Wall Street Journal)