March 23, 2020 / Javier Zarracina, Ledyard King, and Nicholas Wu,
The coronavirus pandemic is not just a global health crisis but an economic calamity as well. Travel has been severely restricted. Thousands of restaurants, bars and other small businesses across the country have been ordered to close. Workers face mass layoffs, with little end in sight.
To stem the economic fallout, Congress has approved two emergency packages. A third, much larger, measure is being negotiated. The major sticking point appears to be over a Republican proposal to help distressed industries hammered by the crisis. Democrats want to ensure companies use bailout money to keep workers on the payroll rather than for boosting executive compensation and increasing shareholder return. Democrats and Republicans are also wrangling over how much money should go to hospitals and health providers to help them deal with the crisis. Here’s where things stand:
What has happened:
Feb. 24: The Trump administration proposes $2.5 billion to fight Coronavirus. The proposal includes money taken from existing programs, including funding to combat the Ebola crisis in 2015. Congress rejects that as far too small.