Senate bill includes 2 checks for up to $3,000 to soften impact of COVID-19

On Thursday, March 19, 2020 Congress faced passing substantive legislation worked to finalize the third in a series of bills designed to assist U.S. citizens and companies as the COVID-19 virus threatens Americans’ health and pocketbooks.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, urged lawmakers to take “bold steps” as he offered up a plan to compensate affected workers with money,

“It is critical that we move swiftly and boldly to begin to stabilize our economy, preserve Americans’ jobs, get money to workers and families and keep up our fight on the health front. That is exactly, exactly what our proposal will do,” McConnell said.

The first federal checks to families could be $3,000 for a family of four under the White House proposal according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

The proposed payments would be $1,000 per adult and $500 per child so that a family of two parents and two children would receive $3,000. Checks would be direct deposited into people’s accounts, and Mnuchin told Fox News that he hopes the money would be out in three weeks.

If the national emergency still exists at the end of April, families would receive another $3,000 in mid-May. Not everyone would get the money. Payments would be allocated by income level. That level has not been set, though some in the administration and Congress have mentioned the top end figure could be $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for couples.

Direct payments would go to U.S. citizens only, and the payments would be identical. The first payment could come April 6, with the second wave starting by May 18.

The third bill has come quickly on the heels of two previous coronavirus aid bills. On Wednesday, the Senate voted to approve a bill passed by the House early Saturday that calls for spending nearly $100 billion on paid leave, unemployment insurance, and free testing to people affected by the coronavirus

The airline industry would look to get $50 billion, possibly through a “secured lending facility” that would make direct loans to U.S. carriers, while other sectors, such as hotels and possibly restaurants, would see a $150 billion rescue package.

“We’re coming up with numbers. Haven’t gotten there yet, but certainly, the hotel industry, cruise ship industry, the airlines — those are all prime candidates,” President Donal Trump said.

The Senate plans to remain in session until the third coronavirus bill passes.

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