WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Senate and the White House on March 25 agreed to a $2 trillion stimulus deal that will include direct payments to individuals in order to blunt the economic impact of the novel coronaviruses (COVID-19) pandemic. The payments, however, probably won't reach members of the public until early May.
Every American who earns under $75,000 per year in adjusted gross income would receive $1,200. Married couples will receive $2,400, and parents would receive $500 for each child less than 17 years of age.
Eligibility will be based on tax returns filed in 2019 or 2018, if taxes have not yet been filed for 2019. The tax deadline for this year has moved from April 15 to July 15. People who don't earn enough to pay income taxes will also get a check under the legislation.
The legislation calls for $350 for loans for small businesses, $500 billion in loans for larger companies that are distressed, and $250 billion for expanded unemployment benefits.
One of the toughest sticking points was the $500 billion for larger companies. Democrats complained that an earlier version of the bill did not provide enough oversight on how the money would be handed out. Ultimately, both sides agreed to create an oversight board and an inspector general position to review the way the money is spent.
Multiple news outlets report that one provision of the legislation would prevent any of the stimulus from going to businesses owned by President Donald Trump and senior members of his administration. Further, the funding could not go to businesses owned by members of Congress.
The legislation has not yet been passed by House of Representatives, but they are expected to approve it.