The federal government passed a bill approving a two trillion dollar stimulus package intended to improve the economic conditions in the US and provide relief to American families. The bill was passed unanimously with a vote of 96-0 and President Trump signed it into law on Friday.
The bill included direct one-time payments to Americans to help cover financial losses. These payments could be up to $1200 depending on income and family size. For each qualifying child 16 or under, families will receive an extra $500. College students who are under the age of 24 and were listed as a dependent on a tax return last year will not receive payments.
As the attempts to stop the spread of COVID-19 have caused many businesses to shut down or downsize, a record 3.3 million people applied for unemployment over the course of a single week. The bill would expand unemployment benefits for these people, increasing each state’s maximum unemployment benefits by $600 each week to help cover the majority of a weekly income and extending the types of workers who are eligible to receive benefits.
Other important provisions of the bill include billions of dollars for hard-hit hospitals and state and local governements dealing with massive outbreaks. It also includes $500 billion to provide relief to struggling industries, such as airlines. The stimulus package was bipartisan, though certain provisions fought for by both Democrats and Republicans in Congress were not included.