US Lawmakers Pass $2.2 Trillion Relief Bill To Help Blunt The Economic Impact Of COVID-19 Shutdowns

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To prevent further spread of COVID-19 , millions of Americans have been ordered to stay at home (Credit: Pixabay)

With over three-quarters of the country under mandatory shutdown orders, and more joining daily, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced hundreds of businesses to shutter and led to widespread layoffs. To mitigate the coronavirus outbreak's economic impact, US lawmakers have passed a $2.2 trillion emergency relief bill, the largest economic rescue package in the nation's history.

Signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020, the sweeping legislation aims to help American workers, small businesses, and industries that are struggling to survive during this unprecedented crisis. "I signed the single biggest economic relief package in American history," Mr. Trump said. "This will deliver urgently needed relief to our nation's families, workers, and businesses, and that's what this is all about."

The multi-trillion-dollar plan assists almost everyone. Here are a few of its biggest beneficiaries:

Corporations and individuals

About a quarter, or $500 billion, of the $2.2 trillion has been set aside to provide emergency loans to large companies, such as commercial airlines, which have been ground to a halt, as well as municipalities and towns struggling to stay afloat. The stimulus package also includes a one-time payment of $1,200 for every American earning $75,000 or less. An additional $500 will be handed out to every child in the qualifying households.

Unemployment insurance

As revenues collapse, businesses nationwide are laying people off at unprecedented rates. During the week ending March 21, 2020, nearly 3.3 million Americans — about five times the previous record set in 1982 — applied for unemployment benefits. With the layoffs continuing to accelerate, economists warn that the nation's unemployment rate could get as high as 13 percent by May 2020.

To help Americans make up for the lost wages, the relief bill will increase unemployment insurance by $600 a week for four months. The funds are in addition to what states already pay as a base unemployment salary.

The coronavirus relief bill has provisions for almost all Americans (Credit: Howmuch.net)

Funding for hospitals, medical equipment, and health care worker protection

The bill allocates a much-needed $150 billion to the US healthcare system. The bulk of the funds — $100 billion — will be used to “reimburse … eligible health care providers for health care related expenses or lost revenues that are attributable to coronavirus." The Indian Health Service, which provides direct medical and public health services to members of federally-recognized Native American tribes and Alaska Native people, will receive $1 billion, and the remainder will be used towards medical equipment, including protective gear for doctors, nurses, and other personnel working with coronavirus patients.

State and local governments and small businesses

About $150 billion of the federal funds will be distributed to state and local governments dealing with COVID-19's impact in their local communities. An additional $367 billion has been set aside to provide loans to keep small businesses — those with less than 500 employees — from shutting down permanently.

Staying home as much as possible and maintaining a social distance when outside is the best way to stop COVID-19's spread (Credit: www.tamug.edu)

"Our nation obviously is going through a kind of crisis that is totally unprecedented in living memory," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said ahead of the historic relief bill vote. Let's stay connected and continue to collaborate on the best ways to keep helping our states and our country through this pandemic. "Let's continue to pray for one another, for all of our families, and for our country."

Stay strong and healthy, and don't forget to keep a safe distance (approximately 6 feet) from others. We can defeat COVID-19 if we all work together!

Resources: CNN.com. Vox.com, CNBC.com

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269 Comments
  • the-odd1sout
    the-odd1soutMonday, July 27, 2020 at 9:50 am
    #doctors are the best
    • kittiesmama
      kittiesmamaSaturday, July 25, 2020 at 10:20 am
      I'm about to die...... Not literally I'm dying of boredom and staying home and wearing masks I hate CORONA it ruining our lives 😪
      • kittiesmama
        kittiesmamaSaturday, July 25, 2020 at 10:14 am
        Praise and be thankful we have doctors and nurses and corona testing #NursesAndDoctors
        • kittiesmama
          kittiesmamaSaturday, July 25, 2020 at 10:11 am
          I hate homeschool my school is opening up but if someone gets covid school shuts down for 2 weeks!😮but my mom's say me and my 3 siblings are not going to school 😪😞I'm going crazy being home all the time😵 just in case you want to know I'm in 6th grade my sister's in 5th my younger brother is in 1st my other younger brother is in 2nd!
          • bsc
            bscSunday, July 12, 2020 at 5:36 am
            #StandTogether, but six feet apart
            • wolfieland
              wolfielandFriday, July 10, 2020 at 8:04 am
              i might be doing online school and im only in fifth grade....
              • animereina2020
                animereina2020Saturday, July 11, 2020 at 12:28 pm
                I don't like online school. When COVID 19 started we had to stay home and do online school. It was a headache to me😵. I feel REALLY bad for you @ wolfieland, since 5th grade at my school was such a big deal. But it is much better than worrying about getting the virus at school. I am going into 7th grade and I will finally be in actual school! But I am a bit nervous😰, since I just moved in Kentucky, so that means new life, and also new school... Wishing all of you luck! ( And btw @wolfieland, I followed you! And I like your comments!)
              • owlcat
                owlcatSunday, July 5, 2020 at 2:11 pm
                Stay safe ,stay home😷
                • tiediegirl6677
                  tiediegirl6677Sunday, July 5, 2020 at 12:03 pm
                  I might get homeschool for now on I'm in 6th now I just wish I got to say bye to class and teacher and rest of my friends..🏥😥
                  • zaks
                    zaksSaturday, July 4, 2020 at 5:20 pm
                    I had to have an at home birthday party with only my family because we couldn't go somewhere or have people over. But I still had fun.
                    • leiker1414
                      leiker1414Friday, July 3, 2020 at 5:06 pm
                      Thanks to my mom, my aunt, my sister, my brother, there all docters idk what I could do without them. 🤒😷 I hate masks I'm so sick and tired of them I wanna go back to school.