The Republicans in the US Senate have agreed on a $1 trillion economic stimulus package to help the economy survive the fallout of the coronavirus epidemic. The GOP move will now set the ball rolling for the Congress adoption of a stimulus plan in agreement with the Democrats. Earlier this week President Donald Trump had announced a stimulus package to fight the virus carnage.
The massive economic aid package is expected to be passed by Congress by Monday. "We need to get this done Monday, so the American public needs us to move forward. Our objective is to have Congress pass legislation on Monday and have the president sign it," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, according to MarketWatch.
Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act
The plan thrashed out by the GOP late on Thursday confirms the direct payment of $1,200 to Americans under a specific income threshold, as promised by President Trump. It also includes $200 billion in loans to help distressed airlines and other industry sectors. Another $300 billion has been earmarked for bridge loans for small businesses.
The GOP proposal is called Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the plan is a bold legislative proposal that will direct financial help for the American people. He also said it will offer "rapid relief for small businesses and their employees," according to CNN. The package will help stabilize the economy and protect jobs, McConnell added.
Trump plans large corporate tax cuts?
Other details of the aid package are not available at the moment. However, the New York Times reported that trillion-dollar stimulus package will also includes large corporate tax cuts.
Massive support for small business sector
A major feature of the proposed plan is the money it plans to funnel into the small business sector where jobs are on shaky ground. The loans under the proposal will help companies pay salaries, mortgage payments and meet other debt obligations. This will in turn help several thousand jobs remain secure for the duration of the virus rampage.
Some Republicans oppose direct payment
One of the striking features of the stimulus plan is President Trump's offer to directly dole out funds to vulnerable Americans. As per the plan, $1,200 will be given to individuals and $2,400 to couples. A $500 payment for each child in households eligible for this payout is another feature of the package.
The direct payment to vulnerable Americans is a step that would increase Trump's popularity and job approval ratings and would help him in the re-election bid in November. However, reports say that some Republicans are opposed to the move.
"There's some disagreement on direct payment checks versus unemployment insurance, versus what a good lending program would look like," Sen. Kevin Cramer, Republican of North Dakota, said. according to CNN. However, the Senator agreed that it should go ahead, nonethless. "But I would say the momentum is with some form of direct payments, whether it's in the form of checks, direct deposit more likely," he said.
Democrats not happy
Though the administration is aiming to pass the proposal as early as Monday, the Democrats are not entirely happy with the package. "We are beginning to review Senator McConnell's proposal and on first reading, it is not at all pro-worker and instead puts corporations way ahead of workers," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement. However, Munchin said he spoke with Schumer and Pelosi about the stimulus package.