Local lawmakers say $2 trillion stimulus package will help families, businesses, hospitals, and those who are unemployed



While Americans brace for the economic impact of the COVID-19 virus, a two-trillion dollar stimulus package is through the Senate and now headed to the House.

With more than three million Americans filing for unemployment and businesses facing possibles closures, the Senate has passed a two-trillion dollar stimulus package, which now heads to Congress.

Bradley University assistant professor of economics, Colin Corbett says the benefits of this package are meant to go to everyone.

“The intention of the stimulus is to go to everyone, including those on Social Security, disability, or anything else. The money will be sent to however you got your most recent tax return. However, for people who have not recently filed taxes, which may include the homeless or other very low income people, there may be difficulty in accessing those funds – I think there will be some online tool for accessing the money, but it has not yet been set up,” Corbett said.

“It includes $1,200 per adult and $500 per child under 16. For those making up to $75,000 adjusted gross income. Then that phases out and ends for those making $99,000 adjusted gross income it phases out completely,” Corbett adds.

Congressman Darin LaHood (R-Illinois) says this money is coming to people automatically.

“An immediate infusion of cash to individuals. If you are a couple making $150,000 or less, you’re going to get $2,400, $1,200 each. to those two adults. Plus $500 for each additional child. That’s going to go out in the next 2-3 weeks here. That could be essentially $3,400 for a family a four, sent by mail or deposited into people’s bank accounts. That’s 500-billion dollars, that money,” Rep. LaHood said.

Corbett says the funds will come to you in the same way you filed your taxes.

“They’ll be deposited based on your 2019 (or 2018) tax filing in a few weeks, then you’ll receive a confirmation mailing a few weeks after that. More info about implementation will be coming out once the bill is signed,” Corbett said.

Rep. LaHood said this will help our hospitals and medical field workers who are on the front lines against the COVID-19 outbreak.

“$140 billion to our hospitals and medical personnel. My heart goes out to the nurses, doctors, and medical personnel who are out there in the trenches on a daily basis,” Rep. LaHood said.

LaHood adds this will benefit local businesses by helping them stay afloat.

“For the next 8-10 weeks, it gets them through this difficult time to help pay their employees. But also to pay rent, to pay your mortgage, pay your utilities, so they can come out on the other end,” Rep. LaHood said.

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-Illinois) says part of the stimulus package will go towards feeding school children who are not in class, but are still depending on school districts for meals.

“We put in almost $9 billion for emergency funding for nutritional programs including child nutrition programs. I look at a package like this, you have to be driven by your values in what you want included in the biggest economic recovery package in the history of our nation,” Rep. Bustos said.

Lawmakers say this package will help distressed businesses. $500 billion dollars are going to the airlines, cruises, and hotel industries. Congresswoman Bustos says this bill will help those who have lost their jobs over the last few weeks.

“We beefed up unemployment insurance. We now have 3.3 million americans just in the last week who filed unemployment. We are adding 600 dollars per week on top of the unemployment insurance benefits,” Rep. Bustos said.

The money from the package is meant to help people pay their bills and pump money into our local economies.

Both Congresswoman Bustos and Congressman LaHood say there’s no question this package will pass Congress. Rep. Bustos says this process has been very bipartisan and the President is expected to sign it very quickly.

Rep. Bustos says this bill will help small businesses much more than what they received after the 2008 recession.

“We put in substantial funding for small businesses. If you want to look historically in what happened post-2008 in the economic crisis our country went to, I was not in Congress at the time, but they did a remarkable job at helping Wall Street, but they did not do what they should’ve done to help Main Street jobs and businesses. We’ve got components in the small business aspect of this economic recovery package where we will have forgivable loans for 8 weeks worth of payroll. For the small employers who have less than 500 employees, people who are self-employed, non-profits, the faith community,” Rep. Bustos said.

Rep. LaHood says he believes the Senate bill, as presented, will be voted up or down by Congress and will not be amended in any way because of how quickly individuals, families, and businesses need this money.

The Phase III Coronavirus Relief Bill, the CARES Act passed in the Senate 96-0.

Congressman LaHood introduced legislation into the Phase III bill called the Restoring Access to Medication Act.

“The Restoring Access to Medication Act, will give individuals the ability to use Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) to purchase over-the-counter medications and menstrual care products,” Rep. LaHood’s statement reads.

“As families and patients navigate this challenging time, it’s vital that they have continued access to quality health care at an affordable cost and health savings accounts are an essential resource for doing that,” said Rep. LaHood. “This commonsense and bipartisan bill will ensure over-the-counter medicines can be purchased through HSAs, expanding access to care and reducing out-of-pocket health care costs. People are looking for relief during this time of uncertainty and we must provide them with every tool we can. I am pleased that legislation I authored will help Illinoisans and Americans, as we work together to combat COVID-19,” Rep. LaHood said in a statement.

Rep. LaHood (R-Illinois)

Congresswoman Bustos also helped pass legislation in this bill by getting more money for local health centers.

“Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) announced that health centers across the region will receive a total of $336,099 in federal funding to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19). These federal grants were awarded through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and are in direct response to the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2020,which Congresswoman Bustos helped pass into law earlier this month,” Bustos staff sent out in a statement.

“During this critical time, it is essential that health centers have access to the resources they need to combat the coronavirus and serve our communities,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “Our health care professionals are on the front lines facing this threat and they need our support as they continue to fight this battle. As the number of cases in our country rises, I’ll continue to work to make sure Illinoisans and families can stay safe and healthy as we weather this storm.”

Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Illinois)

But what about adults who make between $75,000-$99,000?

“Adults making over $99K, or couples making over $198K, would receive no adult payments, although they could still get the $500 child payment per kid. Those making between $75K and $99K would receive a scaled amount – for every $1000 more than $75K that you make, you would receive $50 less in payment. So someone making $85K would get a $700 payment, someone making $95K would get $200, and so on,” Corbett said.

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