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President Trump signs $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill

Posted at 4:36 PM, Mar 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-27 18:02:05-04

(WTXL) — President Donald Trump has signed the $2.2 trillion coronavirus economic stimulus bill, which will provide direct cash payments to more than 90 percent of Americans.

Friday afternoon, the U.S. House voted to pass the $2.2 trillion relief bill that’s aimed at helping American households, businesses and healthcare systems amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Senate already passed the rescue plan 96-0 on Wednesday.

The 880-page measure is the largest economic relief bill in U.S. history.

The bill would provide one-time direct payments to Americans of $1,200 per adult making up to $75,000 a year and $2,400 to a married couple making up to $150,000, with $500 payments per child. You can calculate how much you can expect with this Washington Post calculator. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he expects most people will get their payments within three weeks.

For any student loans held by the federal government, payments will be automatically suspended until Sept. 30. During the six-month period, the bill says borrowers shouldn’t be charged interest.

The bill also includes a heavily negotiated $500 billion program for guaranteed, subsidized loans to larger industries, including airlines.

Republicans won inclusion of an employee retention tax credit that's estimated to provide $50 billion to companies that retain employees on payroll and cover 50% of workers' paycheck up to $10,000. Companies would also be able to defer payment of the 6.2% Social Security payroll tax.

A huge cash infusion for hospitals expecting a flood of COVID-19 patients grew during the talks to an estimated $130 billion. Another $45 billion would fund additional relief through the Federal Emergency Management Agency for local response efforts and community services.

Democrats said the package would help replace the salaries of furloughed workers for four months, rather than the three months first proposed. Furloughed workers would get whatever amount a state usually provides for unemployment, plus a $600-per-week add-on, with gig workers like Uber drivers covered for the first time.

The package also contains $15.5 billion more for a surge in demand for food stamps as part of a massive $330 billion title for agency operations.

State and local authorities would receive up to $150 billion in grants to fight the virus, care for their residents and provide basic services.