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10 highlights from the coronavirus stimulus package

CQ Roll Call Staff, CQ-Roll Call on

Published in News & Features

WASHINGTON -- Almost 900 pages make up the text for the package Congress hopes will boost the economy and relieve the country from the growing strain of the novel coronavirus.

In case you didn't have time while social distancing to review the entire stimulus, we've rounded up the highlights here.

Pick your preferred pronunciation -- Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders-style -- of "billions and billions" and read aloud. But remember the scale of these matters as you interpret the staggering figures: A person can count to a million in under two weeks, but it would take more than 30 years to count to one billion.

$139 BILLION TO STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS

The bill stipulates that within 30 days of enactment the Treasury secretary shall distribute funds to state and local governments. Amounts going to each of the 50 states will be determined in proportion to the population, with no state government receiving less than $1.25 billion. Eligible local governments are defined as any governing body below the state level having more than 500,000 people under its purview. The inspector general of the Treasury is charged with conducting oversight of receipt and distribution.

$400 MILLION FOR STATES TO ADJUST ELECTIONS

 

It's a drop in the ballot box bucket compared with estimates being bandied about. The Brennan Center for Justice estimates $2 billion is necessary for states to accommodate mail-in ballots and other measures that divert action from traditional precinct polling places. House Democrats initially proposed $4 billion in election assistance, while Senate Republicans proposed $140 million.

AIRLINES: $29 BILLION IN LOANS, $29 BILLION IN GRANTS

In the end, the airlines got what they wanted. Maybe especially Boeing. The company's stocks jumped more than 30% in midday trading and stayed there as news circulated that the air carrier was poised to receive what some senators lambasted as a bailout. The bill designates $17 billion for businesses "critical to maintaining national security." While no specific company is named, people familiar with the negotiations say it is meant for Boeing, a major U.S. defense contractor with lingering 737 Max problems in addition to the coronavirus struggles.

$100 BILLION TO HOSPITALS AND HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS

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