Coronavirus stimulus: Here’s what has happened so far to the $3 trillion in pandemic aid
Much of the debate over another Coronavirus Stimulus or Phase 4 bill was about how the money from the first three phases was spent.
"We directly committed $ 3 trillion," said Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) in a recent interview with Yahoo Finance. Given the Federal Reserve's additional lending, the US government actually has around $ 6 trillion in purchasing power, and "most of it isn't out yet".
Toomey is right that much of the Federal Reserve's impact on the economy is not yet fully felt. But the money that is being sent to other areas - like the $ 1,200 checks that are sent to Americans and the unsuccessful loans to small businesses - is no longer available.
In some notable weeks in March, Washington passed a series of bills, including a $ 8 billion Phase 1 contract signed on March 6, followed by a slightly larger Phase 2 contract a few weeks later and the mammoth $ 2 trillion phase 3 contract deal made law until March 27.
President Donald Trump signed the CARES law on March 27, a $ 2 trillion rescue package to provide economic aid in the event of a corona virus outbreak. (JIM WATSON / AFP via Getty Images)
A further $ 484 billion went to additional loans and small business hospitals in April.
President Trump pushed for further action later this summer, while Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell took a wait-and-see approach to actually drafting the bill.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wants to act earlier. In a speech last week, the former Vice President contacted Trump directly and asked him "not to let CARES law support expire next month while people are still injured."
The democratically run House of Representatives passed a law in May, the HEROES Act, at $ 3 trillion, but the Senate is unlikely to even consider the legislation.
Here's an overview of what we know about how much of the $ 3 trillion has already been spent and what is still waiting to go out the door.
Coronavirus checks: $ 267 billion
The Trump administration has often touted how many of its aid programs ran in "record time," and no more than the so-called economic impact payments of up to $ 1,200 for almost every American that are now largely spent.
This is what the payment checks for economic effects look like. Photo: U.S. Secret Service
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin recently announced that 159 million checks worth more than $ 267 billion have been shipped. The money has now gone to every American for whom the IRS has information on file. Approximately 12 million people have not received their money and run the risk of never getting it unless they log in and send their information to the IRS.
A number of democratic figures - including former presidential candidates like Sen. Kamala Harris, Andrew Yang and Rep. Tim Ryan - have all pushed for further controls. One idea is a direct payment that occurs as often as every month during the pandemic. According to Ryan, failure to send more checks could "cascade a serious decline and lock us in a deep recession or depression."
The Republicans were skeptical of such a plan. Mnuchin recently promised that "we will seriously consider whether we want to make more direct money," but added that his focus was on initiatives that "are more focused on getting people back to work."
On Monday, during a Scripps interview, Trump appeared to be supporting another direct payment for Americans.
Improved unemployment benefits: $ 268 billion
A further $ 268 billion was made available in March for what Senate Minority President Chuck Schumer called "unemployment against steroids."
House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority President Chuck Schumer during a socially distant press conference in April. (Bill Clark / CQ Appeal, Inc via Getty Images)
The law extended entitlement and unemployment benefit of $ 600 per week in addition to existing benefits. The rules are controversial for some who say that the government pays some people more to stay at home than to return to work.
The company's HEROES law provides for the benefit to be extended to 2021, but in its current form, the benefit expires on July 31.
The CARES law also provides for additional billions for food stamp programs. These increases in benefits are also temporary, but will continue as long as the state and emergency declarations are in place.
The paycheck protection program: $ 660 billion
By June 19, the PPP had given over $ 514 billion in small business lending, but demand has slowed and raised questions about whether the remaining funds will ever be spent. Over $ 120 billion remains unused by small businesses.
Small business administrator Jovita Carranza (left) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin oversaw the implementation of programs like the PPP. (REUTERS / Tom Brenner)
Companies like Shake Shack and the L.A. Lakers have returned their PPP money, and the money flowing into the program (through canceled loans, double loans, and loans repaid) is almost the same as the new loans. On May 16, the program granted approximately $ 513 billion in loans, and a month later the amount is only slightly higher.
Many companies that have received unsuccessful loans have probably spent the money. The loans were designed to cover 8 weeks of wages and operating costs. The lion's share of them ran out over two months ago before the PPP funds were exhausted.
Congress recently passed a law to give small businesses more flexibility in how they use their loans. Legislators also want to take other measures, including allowing small businesses to apply for a second loan.
A number of other aids for companies: Over $ 500 billion
Another large part of the CARES bill was $ 454 billion to support new Federal Reserve credit facilities. Toomey said in March that it was "the biggest thing we'll see of this whole thing" because the money can be used almost ten times to lend around $ 4 trillion in loans to businesses, states and cities.
Federal Reserve chairman Jerome H. Powell during a speech in March. (Mark Makela / Getty Images)
The maneuver, known as the Magic Money Machine, is powerful, but it took a relatively long time to get going compared to the other aid programs.
The CARES Act also provided $ 56 billion in direct aid to the aerospace industry and another loan program.
The Fed just launched its much-watched main street lending program last week, which focuses on smaller businesses. Changes are also being considered, e.g. B. Whether or not nonprofit organizations such as universities and nonprofit organizations should be involved.
The Fed has set up a number of other facilities that cover everything from municipalities to large corporations.
In April, the Fed announced that it would use a variety of methods to add $ 2.3 trillion to the US economy, with more to come.
Aid to states, tax cuts and other regulations
The CARES Act also established a $ 150 billion aid fund for states and $ 153 billion for health care expenditures.
Each state is insured with at least $ 1.25 billion and that money is available, but part of the relief has been reported to have been held up by a state standstill.
Senators Schumer and Patty Murray (D-WA) sent a letter this week claiming the Trump administration still had billions of coronavirus testing funding that had not yet been distributed.
The CARES law also includes over $ 250 billion in corporate and individual tax cuts that will remain in effect at least until the end of the year. Additional provisions, from $ 10 billion for the postal service to funds for educational institutions, are still in various stages of disbursement.
In the meantime, the timeline for another stimulus measure is being pushed back further and further. The Senate meets for two more weeks, but few in Washington expect a move with other priorities - like the police reform - that are likely to take center stage until the July 4th break.
After that, the Senate should be absent until July 20. McConnell is reportedly working with the White House on a $ 1 trillion bill that is expected to be released in late July.
Ben Werschkul is a producer for Yahoo Finance in Washington, DC.
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