What’s in the $2 Trillion Coronavirus Bill the Senate passed?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by jdh5484, Mar 26, 2020.

  1. jdh5484

    jdh5484 Just Beat UGa
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    What’s in the $2 Trillion Senate Coronavirus Bill


    HOUSEHOLDS AND WORKERS


    Checks to individuals


    The bill provides for direct payments of $1,200 to adults and $500 per child to American households, structured as tax refunds to allow the Internal Refund Service to distribute the funds quickly. There is no provision for future direct payments in the event the economic disruption lasts into the later spring. The direct grants are phased out for upper income brackets, starting with $75,000 of individual income. The grants aren’t available at all, for example, for individuals without children making more than $99,000 and married couples without children making more than $198,000.


    Unemployed workers


    The deal would extend the duration of jobless benefits to 39 weeks from 26 available in most states, and includes a $600-a-week increase for the first four months, with the bonus payment available through July 31. These benefits would be extended to contract workers, freelancers and other nontraditional workers, who lack benefits in some states. The aim is to replace lost wages as completely as possible.


    Gig workers and freelancers


    The bill expands some benefits and grants to independent contractors, such as Uber drivers and freelance film editors, that normally go only to employees or small businesses. For example, it extends unemployment benefits to self-employed workers, including independent contractors, freelancers and other nontraditional workers who are unemployed, partially unemployed or unable to work because of Covid-19. It includes a $600-a-week increase on top of current levels of unemployment benefits for four months. Independent contractors also can apply for the $10 billion set aside for emergency EIDL—economic injury disaster loan—funds, which are normally available only to a narrower category of small businesses



    BUSINESS


    Airlines

    For passenger airlines, the bill includes $25 billion in direct funding for worker salaries and benefits, as well as up to $25 billion in loans and loan guarantees. The bill hews to what airlines had been asking for. Carriers had lobbied aggressively for direct grants rather than just loans, warning that without an immediate infusion of cash, they would have to make sharp job cuts. “This is not a corporate bailout; it’s a rescue package for workers,” Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, said.


    The bill also includes $3 billion in assistance to keep paying contract workers that provide airline catering, baggage loading, ticketing and check-in, and other services at airports. Cargo airlines will be eligible to receive $4 billion in loans and guarantees, and $4 billion in payroll assistance.


    In exchange for the payroll grants, carriers must agree not to furlough, lay off or cut pay for employees until Sept. 30. Assistance also hinges on companies agreeing not to buy back shares or pay dividends, and to limits on executive compensation.


    The package also allows the Transportation Department to direct airlines to maintain specific flights based on their schedules on March 1, before carriers had instituted the deepest cuts to their flying. This would include services to rural communities and to support delivery of health-care-related cargo.


    Auto industry

    The closure of nearly all of the country’s assembly plants has forced thousands of manufacturers throughout the industry’s supply chain into a sudden cash crunch. The bill’s authorization of up to hundreds of billions of dollars in loans should help. If not for that, I would foresee quite a bit of bankruptcies,” said Jeremy Rice, automotive practice lead at accounting firm Mazars U.S.A. One omission: Industry lobbyists have asked to push back implementation of the new North American trade deal, which will require adjustments to manufacturing footprints for some cars to still qualify for duty-free status. As of now, that deal is still set to enter into force on June 1.


    Banks

    The bill delays implementation of a new accounting rule that would have required banks to sock away reserves for any estimated loan losses all at once, instead of spreading them out over the life of the loan. FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams and others had expressed concern that the rule would tie up funds banks could otherwise lend to struggling consumers and businesses.


    The bill gives the Office of the comptroller of the currency the authority to allow banks to make loans that would typically trip up size restrictions. Smaller community banks with less than $10 billion in assets get more lending flexibility through a higher maximum leverage ratio and more wiggle room if they exceed it.


    anks will also get more leeway on how they account for troubled consumer loans, allowing them to work with struggling borrowers who have fallen behind on their payments —David Benoit


    Boeing

    Boeing Co. stands to have access to $17 billion in loans and loan guarantees for “businesses critical to maintaining national security,” according to congressional officials and a senior aviation industry executive closely tracking the legislation. The Chicago aerospace giant had sought at least $60 billion to be shared with suppliers and the broader aerospace manufacturing sector. It wasn’t immediately known how much of the overall stimulus funds could benefit Boeing’s commercial arm and its suppliers.


    Part of the $17 billion can be directed at defense contractors and their suppliers, many of whom also work on commercial programs, industry executives said.


    A Boeing spokesman declined to comment midday Wednesday, while the legislative process remained under way.Taxpayer-funded loans would come with various conditions, including restrictions on stock buybacks and dividends and layoff prohibitions for six months. The assistance could also allow the U.S. treasury secretary to take an equity stake in government loan recipients.



    Farmers

    The bill directs more than $48 billion to agriculture and nutrition programs, helping cushion the blow for producers reeling from the latest in a string of hits to the U.S. farm economy, as prices sank for corn, soybeans, wheat and cattle. “Our markets have been very depressed such that it’s questionable whether a person can make a living at these levels,” said Illinois grain farmer Paul Rasmussen, 68.


    The law designates $14 billion to replenish the Commodity Credit Corp., a Depression-era program designed to stabilize farm incomes, and $9.5 billion to support producers of specialty crops, livestock and dairy, as well as those who supply farmers markets, restaurants and schools.


    Kate Leone of Feeding America, a nationwide network of 200 food banks, said the group was grateful for the bill’s support of food banks, but disappointed that participants in the nation’s food stamp program wouldn’t see increases in their benefits.


    Health industry

    The stimulus package adds $27 billion to an emergency fund that could give a boost to dozens of projects by pharmaceutical companies and academic groups developing drugs and vaccines against coronavirus. The emergency fund received a smaller amount of funding under a coronavirus response act signed earlier in March. There is no Covid-19 vaccine, but dozens are in development.


    The package allows the government to take steps to ensure that products developed with the emergency funding will be “affordable in the commercial market,” but that these steps shouldn’t delay development of the products.


    The bill also includes provisions to increase reporting of potential shortages from drug manufacturers and companies that make active pharmaceutical ingredients, which are the building blocks of prescription drugs. Many of these raw materials are produced overseas and drawn more attention during the virus outbreak. Companies that make respirators and other medical devices would be required to report to the federal government potential supply chain interruptions.


    Hotels

    The hotel industry last week asked the White House for a $150 billion financial-aid package, targeted specifically for hospitality companies. What it got instead from the stimulus bill is a patchwork of loans, grants and tax help, much of it through the $350 billion in loans and grants for small businesses. The majority of U.S. hoteliers qualify as businesses with fewer than 500 employees, making less than $35 million in annual revenue.


    The lodging industry even scored a victory in getting language in the Senate bill that defined each individual hotel as its own business. Hotel owners with several properties had been concerned that they would not qualify as a small business because taken together, all their properties would have pushed them over the current Small Business Administration’s definition.


    The federal boost in unemployment insurance will help the many hotel employees who have been furloughed across the U.S. Larger hotel companies can apply for loans through the Treasury Department’s economic stabilization fund. But few in the lodging industry expect travel to bounce back by late spring, or even soon after.
     
  2. jdh5484

    jdh5484 Just Beat UGa
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    Second Page
    Movie theaters

    For larger movie theaters, many of which are expected to stay closed as long as government guidance limits the number of people who can gather in one place, the stimulus bill’s loan guarantee fund could help major chains pay leases or mortgages that are still due for the closed operations, or pay suppliers with bills for everything from popcorn to custodial supplies, said Patrick Corcoran, spokesman for the National Association of Theatre Owners trade group.


    Music

    The music industry stands to benefit from the bill’s provisions that expand unemployment and small-business loans to independent contractors and sole proprietors. Now, session musicians, songwriters and gig workers at venues and on tours that were postponed or canceled will be eligible to apply for such benefits. Charitable organizations affiliated with the music business could also receive grants from the new funding for the National Endowment of the Arts.


    “This is a huge lifeline for musicians right now,” said Mitch Glazier, chief executive of the Recording Industry Association of America, a trade organization that lobbied on behalf of some 40 music industry companies. “For an independent contractor to get full unemployment benefits during a time of no work is the difference between them being able to stay a musician or not.”


    Postal Service

    The financially strained U.S. Postal Service is getting a $10 billion Treasury loan to help the mail carrier during the pandemic. That should be welcome news for Amazon.com Inc., United Parcel Service Inc. and, to a lesser extent, FedEx Corp., which rely on postal workers for last-mile delivery in certain places. he Postal Service is only allowed by law to raise its net debt by $3 billion a year, so the bill loosens that restriction. But it does come with some strings attached. Mainly, the Postal Service can only use the financing for operating expenses and not to pay down outstanding debt. The bill also requires the Postal Service to prioritize medical shipments and allows temporary delivery points to protect workers and recipients of mail.


    Private-Equity Funds


    Private-equity firms will likely find it a challenge to get access to stimulus funds. Based on available details of the stimulus package, private-equity-owned businesses wouldn’t be explicitly barred from receiving assistance. But government lending requirements could prevent them from unlocking the aid, say lawyers, lobbyists and regulatory experts. In most cases, “I don’t think they should be thinking of this federal money as a savior,” said Howard Glazer, a partner at Ropes & Gray LLP who advises private-equity firms.


    Railroads

    National passenger railroad Amtrak secured about $1 billion to cover revenue losses related to the coronavirus. The railroad industry won enhanced unemployment benefits that account for its workers not being covered under traditional state-run unemployment programs. Railroad workers instead receive unemployment benefits under a program administered by the Railroad Retirement Board. The bill removes a seven-day waiting period to collect unemployment and provides $50 million to cover the benefits tied to that waiver. It also provides $425 million to double biweekly unemployment payments to $1,200 through July.


    Retailers

    Retailers hastened a correction that was already in the works to a drafting error in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that required them to expense property improvements over 39 years, instead of in the first year as was initially intended. Because of the mistake, retailers, along with restaurants and hotels that made such improvements over the past two years, overpaid their taxes by as much as $30 billion, according to David French, the National Retail Association’s senior vice president of government relations. The bill will allow that money to flow back to these companies. But the aid is far short of what designer Tory Burch and other retail CEOs had lobbied for, including direct cash infusions so that they can continue to pay workers while stores are closed, rent relief and the waiver of duties and tariffs.


    Restaurants

    Restaurant owners were encouraged that a range of operations were set to be eligible for small-business loans. Previous versions of the loan provision had capped the employee head count at 500, smaller than many franchised operations, trade groups said. Now, most franchisees should qualify for the program, they said.



    Mitch Cohen, owner of three Jersey Mike’s Subs shops in Suffolk County, N.Y., said the stimulus could help keep his business afloat, if it gets to business owners soon. “How fast are the funds going to come to the front lines, that’s the next concern,” said Mr. Cohen. Brandon Robertson, a Kansas-based owner of nine KFC restaurant locations, said his biggest hope is to get funding to keep all 140 of his employees. “We don’t want to have to start over,” said Mr. Robertson, a franchisee of the Yum Brands Inc. division.


    Small Businesses

    The deal would allow businesses and nonprofits with up to 500 workers in a single location to apply through qualifying banks for loans backed by the Small Business Administration. The loans would convert into grants that don’t have to be repaid for amounts spent on items such as payroll, rent or utilities, with the grants reduced when workers are laid off. The loans would be capped at $10 million and cover wages up to $100,000 a year.


    Tech

    Tech companies didn’t see much direct assistance from the proposed funding bill, though hosts for home-sharing giant Airbnb Inc. would be eligible for small business loans and unemployment insurance. Drivers and food-delivery workers for companies such as Uber Technologies Inc. and DoorDash Inc., though considered independent contractors, qualify for unemployment benefits under the proposed legislation. Some tech firms even fear being left out. The draft legislation around loan guarantees for small- and medium-size businesses could cut out small technology companies and other startups funded by venture capital partnerships.




    PERSONAL FINANCE AND TAXES


    Bankruptcy

    The law ensures that people who file for bankruptcy don’t have to use stimulus checks to repay past debt, and it extends the time that bankrupt people have to repay a portion of their debt as a condition to getting a fresh start. The current repayment time limit is five years; the bill extends the repayment time frame to seven years.


    Reporting

    Consumers who fall behind on their debt payments won’t necessarily take a hit on their credit reports. The bill requires lenders that allow struggling consumers to defer or skip loan payments to report the borrowers as current on their payments, even if they are not. Most consumers who were behind on their debts before the coronavirus crisis will continue to be reported as delinquent.


    Mortgages

    The bill requires companies that service federally backed mortgages to grant a forbearance of up to 360 days to borrowers who say they have been harmed by the coronavirus outbreak. servicers are prohibited from initiatiSng foreclosure and processing foreclosure-related evictions for 60 days beginning March 18. Owners of multifamily properties can request a forbearance of up to 90 days, during which tenants cannot be evicted for nonpayment of rent or other fees

    Retirement

    The law temporarily loosens the rules on hardship distributions from retirement accounts, giving people affected by the crisis access to up to $100,000 of their retirement savings without a 10% penalty. The law doubles the amount 401(k) participants can take in loans from an account for the next six months to the lower of $100,000 or 100% of the account balance. (IRAs don’t permit loans.) For retirees, the law suspends for 2020 the mandatory distributions the government requires most to take from tax-deferred 401(k)s and individual retirement accounts starting at either age 70½ or age 72.


    Student Loans

    The law would allow most Americans with federal student loans to suspend their monthly payments through Sept. 30, 2020, without any interest accruing. It would also enable employers to make tax-exempt contributions toward their workers’ student-loan payments.

    Taxes

    Employers would be able to defer paying their share of 2020 payroll taxes. They could then make half of those payments in 2021 and the other half in 2022. In addition, the bill creates a new tax credit for retaining employees that’s aimed at companies that are too large to benefit from the small-business assistance elsewhere in the bill. Those employers would be able to get a tax credit equal to 50% of payroll. That is limited to $10,000 per employee per quarter, and for employers with more than 100 employees, it is available only to those companies and nonprofits that had their businesses limited or closed by government actions.
     
    • Bammer

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      What are the odds they launch another stimulus?!
       
    • Taco Gratis

      Taco Gratis Clear eyes. Full hearts.

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      100%
       
      • DaveFla

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        Agree, FWIW.
         
      • Taco Gratis

        Taco Gratis Clear eyes. Full hearts.

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        Yeah, I really went out on a limb, there. :lol:
         
      • flg8rfan

        flg8rfan Well-Known Member

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        The question on my mind is what is Pelosi going to do to screw it up.
         
        • jdh5484

          jdh5484 Just Beat UGa
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          Everything she can.

          [​IMG]
           
          • Bammer

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            What I find comical (sad) is that so many in Congress didn’t want to put restrictions on business bailouts but cheer when work and drug testing requirements are placed on the poor.

            and this, ladies and gents, is why Bernie can get 1/3 of the Dems to
            :bwahaha:
             
          • soflagator

            soflagator Senior Member
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            Some of the best work I've seen recently. I don't care what side, if any, you're on. That's hilarious.:lol:
             
          • secgator

            secgator Well-Known Member

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            In listening to the Dingbytch give her presser--how in the name of God did she ever get elected, then move into a position as SOH the first time--then a 2ND TIME! This walking-box-of-rocks-for-brains simply can not speak worth a tinker's damn. She struggles as badly as Old Slow Joe does. Only advantage is she at least knows where she is most times I suppose, but as far as being even remotely articulate without stuttering and struggling for words...she's simply a dolt.

            All this on top of being corrupt. She is simply pathetic on all counts.
             
            • DaveFla

              DaveFla Well-Known Member
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              It took everything I had to keep from throwing my coffee cup at the television. I can’t stand that b!tch.
               
              • Bammer

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                • Taco Gratis

                  Taco Gratis Clear eyes. Full hearts.

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                • URGatorBait

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                  Just print a few Trillion dollar coins and we're good.

                  /AOC
                   
                  • FireFoley

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                    Shovel Ready?
                     
                    • LoyalGatorFan

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                      Takebackthehouse.gov! We have to get McCarthy or some competent person in there who actually works for the American people....I don’t know how many seats the Pubs need to flip but by God I hope it happens
                       
                      • flg8rfan

                        flg8rfan Well-Known Member

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                        This could have been a moment where Schumer would have gotten respect from me if he said ‘with all due respect Speaker Pelosi, this is truly a bi partisan bill that we worked countless hours on to get it ready. America needs this yesterday and I urge you to pass it as is’. Nope, he rolled over like a swamp rat.
                         

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