The United States government is working on several plans to provide financial assistance during the coronavirus outbreak. There are already many bills in place which provide some aid, but there are more to come, so long as they pass through the House and Senate.
In early March, Congress passed their first bill to combat the coronavirus. This bill allocated 8.3 billion dollars into different regions of healthcare. The money was distributed in several areas. 350 million dollars was given to battle the virus in hot spots, such as Washington, which has over 1,000 cases. 500 million dollars was given to states, local governments and hospitals to buy drugs, masks , and other necessary medical supplies. One billion dollars will be given to local and state governments for debts that will build up while battling the coronavirus. 300 million will be given to the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) rapid response fund. Over 800 millions dollars will be given to researchers to develop vaccines, better tests, and drugs for infected people. The remaining 1.3 billion went to helping fight the virus overseas.
The second bill going through is the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. It has already passed through the House of Representatives, and is expected to be taken up by the Senate soon. The bill that was passed through the house on March 14th builds upon the 8.3 billion dollar bill that was already passed in early March. This bill is designed to help the millions of Americans that will be impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. The new legislation will require 14 paid sick days and paid leave for some workers, will fund expanded unemployment insurance, will provide additional funds to food security programs, and it will temporarily increase the federal match percentage for state and territorial medicaid programs. The bill will also require coronavirus testing and treatment to be entirely covered by insurance until the end of the national emergency.
The next bill, which is spearheaded by the Trump Administration, has not been passed yet. This bill would require one trillion dollars for stimulus. President Trump's plan allocates 50 billion dollars to the airline industry, which has taken a huge hit due to travel bans and social distancing. It would give 150 billion to other struggling areas in the economy through secured lending or loan guarantees. The bill would also give 300 billion dollars to small businesses. A small business is considered anything with 500 employees or less and the loan program would provide 6 weeks worth of payroll. The final phase of the bill would provide two rounds of payments to Americans. It would take 500 billion dollars to fund, and each round of payments would be 250 billion dollars. The first round of payments would start April 6th and the second round would start May 18th. The two payments would go to taxpayers and the amount to each person will vary by income and family size. The negotiations for this bill are still ongoing, so nothing is set in place quite yet.
The government is doing their best to help financially during this trying time in American history. They are putting in every measure to ensure Americans will stay afloat during the coronavirus outbreak. New legislation is being put in place everyday to make sure everyone has what they need and to ensure that the United States will survive the outbreak.