The United States Senate late Wednesday night unanimously approved a $2 trillion COVID-19 emergency relief package intended to keep the economy afloat while providing funds to small businesses in need and laid-off workers.
The Senate passed the largest economic stimulus package in U.S. history by a vote of 96-0, with four senators absent, after three days’ worth of negotiations between the Trump administration and leading Senators.
“Since the Great Depression the U.S. has had 17 recessions, with nine of those lasting less than one year,” said Scott Cawood, president and CEO of WorldatWork. “Quick, targeted and extensive action by the Senate and House will go a long way in helping save lives as well as help our economy rebound more quickly and get more people back to work.”
The bill passed in the House on Friday. The new law will provide:
- Hundreds of billions in direct $1,200 payments to many Americans.
- Expanded unemployment insurance to cover freelance and gig workers.
- $850 billion worth of loan programs for businesses, which come with careful oversight provisions.
- Additional resources to frontline health-care providers.
"Every day, more Americans' jobs are disappearing or coming closer to the brink,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. "Every day, more small businesses are faced with hard decisions that could change local communities forever."
McConnell said the bill will “inject a significant amount of money as quickly as possible into households, small businesses, key sectors, and our nation's hospitals and health centers.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said there will likely be one more phase of the economic relief package and that Democrats want the next phase to include stronger paid leave provisions, a pension fix and additional worker protections — many of which were left on the cutting room floor in negotiations for the previous bills, according to Politico.
Visit WorldatWork’s resource page for more info and planning on COVID-19.
About the Author
Brett Christie is the managing editor of Workspan Daily.