U.S. Senate passes massive $2 trillion stimulus package to jumpstart an economy decimated by coronavirus and send free money to all workers forced to stay home

Chief White House Correspondent for | + posts

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

The United States Senate late on Wednesday passed a massive $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package to revive an economy virtually slaughtered by coronavirus and send checks or direct deposits to millions of workers forced to stay home.

For more than a week now, businesses are shut, planes are grounded, the economy is on a break as workers are encouraged, advised or mandated to stay home to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the potentially deadly respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

The 880-page legislation passed minutes before midnight on Wednesday, the largest economic relief bill in U.S. history, received 96 votes for and none against. The United States Senate has 100 senators but several of them were unable to make it to the Senate floor as they remained in self isolation following exposure to coronavirus.

The historic bill has been sent to the House of Representatives for a debate and is expected to pass there as well. It aims at bringing relief to individuals, small businesses and large corporations decimated by the economic impacts of the coronavirus.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. released senators from Washington D.C. until April 20 and promised to recall them if needed.

Who will receive the money?

“The package 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. After a $75,000 threshold for individuals, the benefit would be reduced by $5 for each $100 the taxpayer makes, per Page 145 of the bill. A similar $150,000 threshold applies to couples, and a $112,500 threshold for heads of households,” Fox News explained.

How will they select those who receive the money?

“The legislation passed by the Senate will use 2019 tax returns, if available, or 2018 tax returns to assess income for determining how much direct financial aid individuals receive. Those who did not file tax returns can use a Form SSA-1099, Social Security Benefit Statement or Form RRB-1099, a Social Security Equivalent Benefit Statement, per Page 149 of the bill,” the report added.

It noted, however, that “the bill omits many — though not all — items from Pelosi’s version of the legislation that Republicans had called wasteful or irrelevant, including climate-change related emissions restrictions for airlines and various diversity-related provisions”.

“But, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. and the House of Representatives would still each receive $25 million, and unions will likely benefit from provisions requiring many small businesses to stay out of union organization efforts. Those line items galled conservatives when Pelosi first floated them over the weekend, but President Trump signaled earlier in the day that they amounted to necessary compromises to move the bill along,” Fox News added.

What about Africans and other immigrants in the United States?

Many other people in the United States who are tax payers, the unemployed, the forced to stay home would thousands of questions to know how they too would benefit from this free money.

Read full story here or here.

Simon Ateba

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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