On March 23, the Senate failed for a second time to pass a comprehensive stimulus bill aimed at combating the devastating economic effects of COVID-19.
The bill could top $1.5-2 trillion, with proposals that have included:
· Payments of $1,200 to most American adults ($2,400 for couples filing jointly), and $500 for dependent children;
· $350 billion for small businesses to prevent mass layoffs;
· $75 billion provider reimbursement fund for COVID-19 related expenses;
· A two-year delay in cuts to Medicaid disproportionate-share hospital payments;
· $1.3 billion in emergency money and an 18-month funding extension for community health centers;
· suspension of the Medicare sequester;
· A hospital add-on payment for COVID-19 patients;
· $1 billion for purchases under the Defense Production Act;
· $1.7 billion for the Strategic National Stockpile.
· $250 billion to bolster the unemployment insurance system; and
· $500 billion loan program for businesses, states, and localities, directed in the Treasury Department’s discretion.
In response, House Democrats announced a stimulus plan, the Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act, with proposals that include:
· Requirements that corporations getting bailout money shield workers’ wages and benefits;
· Limits on CEO compensation, stock buybacks and layoffs;
· Direct payments of $1,500 to taxpayers, up to $7,500 for a family of five;
· Expanded paid family and medical leave;
· $500 billion for grants and interest-free loans to small businesses;
· Up to $600 billion to strengthen unemployment insurance;
· $150 billion in increased funding for hospitals;
· Tougher safety standards for health-care workers;
· Elimination of medical costs for all Americans, including uninsured, for treatments and vaccines relating to COVID-19;
· Language urging the president to invoke the Defense Production Act to manufacture more health-care supplies;
· Nearly $60 billion in funding for schools and universities along with student debt relief;
· More funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and other food assistance programs; and
· $4 billion in state election grants and a national requirement for 15 days of early voting and no-excuse absentee voting as fears grow about coronavirus spreading at crowded polling sites.
Both bills are in proposal stages. Stay tuned for updates.
Please note this current global emergency and applicable laws, regulations, proposals, guidance, advice, and responses change rapidly. We strive to keep you up to date as much as possible, but this blog article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Contact myHRcounsel with questions concerning specific facts and circumstances.