The Republican-controlled Senate passed the largest rescue package in modern history on Wednesday to alleviate economic pressure caused by the coronavirus.
By a vote of 96-0, the Senate passed a massive $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus compromise package, which will now be sent to the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.
In large part, the historic measure to bring relief to individuals, small businesses, and larger corporations.
The relief package also includes thousands of dollars in direct payments to most Americans — millions of whom face unemployment related to the spread of the virus — as well as a $500 billion loan fund for large corporations and a $367 billion loan program for small businesses.
The Senate bill also omits many — though not all — items from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s version of the legislation that Republicans had called wasteful or irrelevant, including climate-change-related emissions restrictions for airlines and various diversity-related provisions.
Below are some of the high points of the bill from Fox News:
The package would provide one-time direct payments to Americans of $1,200 per adult making up to $75,000 a year, and $2,400 to married couples making up to $150,000, with $500 payments per child.
After a $75,000 threshold for individuals, the benefit would be reduced by $5 for each $100 the taxpayer makes.
A similar $150,000 threshold applies to couples and a $112,500 threshold for heads of households.
The legislation passed by the Senate will use 2019 tax returns, if available, or 2018 tax returns to assess income for determining how much direct financial aid individuals receive.
The final package would additionally provide $349 billion in loans to small businesses — and money spent on rent, payroll and utilities become grants that don’t need to be paid back. Many hotels would qualify as small businesses under the plan.
Passenger airlines would receive $25 billion for workers’ “salaries and benefits,” plus up to $25 billion more in loan guarantees and loans. Contract workers would also receive $3 billion in assistance. Airlines would have to agree not to furlough workers until at least the end of September in return.
President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that he would sign the package “immediately.”
“96-0 in the United States Senate. Congratulations AMERICA!” he tweeted.
96-0 in the United States Senate. Congratulations AMERICA!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 26, 2020
The bill is expected to pass in the House on Friday.
The bipartisan breakthrough in the Senate capped days of heated negotiations after Pelosi flew into D.C. last weekend and tried slipping in a slew of unnecessary, left-wing proposals.