Congress Passes Economic Stimulus Package amid Pandemic

Amanda Casanova | Contributor | Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Congress Passes Economic Stimulus Package amid Pandemic

Congress Passes Economic Stimulus Package amid Pandemic

The White House and the U.S. Senate approved a $2 trillion stimulus package early Wednesday that includes sending checks to people affected by the coronavirus.

According to The Guardian, the rescue deal would give financial assistance to workers, businesses and the healthcare system, all of which are facing economic struggles in the wake of the pandemic.

“The Senate has reached a bipartisan agreement on a historic relief package for this pandemic,” Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell said, calling the deal as a “wartime level of investment into our nation.”

Under the plan, single Americans would receive $1,200, married couples would receive $2,400 and parents would get $500 for each child under 17.

The plan does, however, include limitations based on adjusted gross income. Individuals earning more than $99,000 will not qualify. Qualifying income levels will be based on 2019 federal tax returns if already filed, or on 2018 returns.

“This is not a moment of celebration, but one of necessity,” Minority leader Chuck Schumer said. “To all Americans I say: help is on the way.”

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the president would “absolutely” sign the bill if Congress approved it.

The deal also includes $500 billion in guaranteed, subsidized loans to large industries, including hospitals and airlines. Another $367 billion is earmarked for small businesses.

It could be weeks before individuals, families and businesses receive checks, however. In 2001, it took six weeks for the IRS to send rebate checks. In 2008, during the Great Recession, checks weren’t mailed until three months after the law was signed approving the checks.

"It's just a recipe for confusion," said Nina Olson, who served as the IRS's National Taxpayer Advocate from 2001 to 2019.

"There can be a lot of complexity involved in something as simple as sending a check out," Olson added.


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Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and She blogs at The Migraine Runner.