Federal coronavirus stimulus package: What it means for Americans

Federal coronavirus stimulus package: What it means for Americans
Posted at 3:39 PM, Mar 25, 2020

It appears in the coming hours or days, Congress will approve and the president will sign legislation designed to keep the American economy from collapse as businesses close to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The two parties came to an agreement early Wednesday morning. It appears some finer details of the bill are still being hammered out, but the two sides have agreed on a number of items.

Both the Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate Appropriations Committee have released summaries of what the final bill will likely include.

Here is what the bill means for Americans:

Checks for Americans:

Regardless of employment status, most Americans will see a check from the federal government. The checks will either be $1,200 for individuals earning less than $75,000 a year, or $2,400 for couples earning less than $150,000 a year. An additional $500 will be added for each child. Those figures will be pro rated for individuals making between $75,000 and $99,000 a year, and for couples making $150,000 to $198,000 a year.

It's unknown exactly when individuals would receive these checks, but several members of Congress said they would come early in April.

Low income families:

The Supplimental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which is set to receive $15.51 billion from this legislation, is anticipating increases in participation as a result of coronavirus.

Also, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program program, which is designed to provide energy assistance for low-income families, is set to have $900 million in funding.

Food supply:

Nearly $9.5 billion is set for food producers and agriculture.

Costs for healthcare:

A total of $172.1 billion will be spent on the front lines to combat COVID-19.

$100 billion of the funds will go toward a new program to provide grants to hospitals, public entities, not-forprofit entities, and Medicare and Medicaid enrolled suppliers. Another $27 billion will go toward research on how to prevent and cure COVID-19.

Nearly $4.3 billion is expected to go toward local, state and federal health organizations. This money will be used to help purchase coronavirus test kits, and pay for equipment.

Funds for education:

The Department of Education will distribute more than $30 billion to help stabilize schools and universities that have had to alter operations and rely on remote learning in recent weeks. Nearly half of the money set aside for the Department of Education will be used on higher education to help them combat the virus on campus, provide distance learning and offer grants to students in need.

$13.5 billion is available for formula-grants to States, which will then distribute 90 percent of funds to local educational agencies.

In additional $750 million will go toward Head Start to help with emergency staffing needs.

For veterans:

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will have $15.85 billion in funding to provide healthcare for veterans. This covers treatment of veterans nationwide for coronavirus within VA hospitals in addition to healthcare facilities in the community. In additional $3.1 billion will go toward supporting telehealth services for veterans.

This story will be updated as more details of the bill are released.