What we get out of a $500 bill

Congress spends another half-trillion dollars on relief

Apr 23, 2020 | Editorial | The economy | Politics
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"And I would spend $500 (billion) more..."

Didn't we just pass a $2 trillion relief package

We did. But relief and loans for small businesses, valued at just $349 billion, dried up quickly as millions of businesses flooded the program with applications.

As a result, Congress felt pressured to pass another $484 billion measure to help the cratering industries, such as restaurants + hospitality, which estimate they'll lose $240 billion this year.

So what's in this bill?

Small business relief: $383 billion is headed towards helping small businesses, with over $250 billion pegged towards replenishing the Paycheck Protection Fund (PPP).

Health care and coronavirus testing: $75 billion in grants to hospitals and providers to cover pandemic costs and an additional $25 billion towards coronavirus testing for both federal and state programs.

So how might this help us?

It could protect the jobs of many. One of the key terms for PPP program recipients: that they retain their workforce. With over $300 billion in additional funding, less employees should be laid off.

The unemployed may also get back to work faster. By beefing up health care funding and virus testing, the Fed is trying to help spur treatment and assessment of the pandemic landscape, setting the stage for an eventual return to work.

Is another check coming?

As of now, no. And with nearly $3.5 trillion spent on pandemic relief efforts, the US government has spent nearly the equivalent of all of last year's federal budget ($4.45 trillion), making each stimulus effort a tougher sell.



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