The White House and Senate leaders of both parties announced an agreement early Wednesday on an unprecedented $2 trillion emergency bill to rush sweeping aid to businesses, workers, and a health care system slammed by the coronavirus pandemic.
The urgently needed measure is the largest economic rescue bill in history. It is intended as a weekslong or monthslong patch for an economy spiraling into recession — or worse — and a nation facing a potentially ghastly toll.
“To the American people, we say, big help, quick help is on the way,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Wednesday morning on CNN.
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Approval is expected by the Republican-led Senate later in the day. The timetable for the bill’s passing is unclear, but the bipartisan measure will almost certainly be approved.
That leaves millions of Americans wondering: When will the stimulus check — the so-called “Trump Check” — finally arrive at their doorstep?
The date isn’t completely clear. The only certain answer is: soon.
It could be early as April 15, according to the estimated timetables by Syracuse.com and The Tennessean. Their prediction follows close to the first proposed timeline — the White House originally wanted to get the “Trump Checks” sent as early as April 6 before Democrat-led protests stalled the bill.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said during an interview on Fox Business on Thursday that “as soon as Congress passes this, we will get this out in three weeks” — which would mean April 22.
However, CNN reported that delays in the vote could push back that mid-April goal further back. It will be “at least May before the money goes out” the outlet reported Wednesday.
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If taxpayers had previously filed their 2019 income tax returns and set-up a direct deposit with the IRS, they should expect the money first. Those who haven’t should expect a slightly longer delay, as their check will be sent in the mail.
House Democratic and Republican leaders have hoped to clear the measure for President Donald Trump’s signature by a voice vote without having to call lawmakers back to Washington. But that may prove challenging, as the bill is sure to be opposed by some conservatives upset at its cost and scope. Far-left liberal lawmakers were restless as well.
Top White House aide Eric Ueland announced the agreement in a Capitol hallway shortly after midnight early Wednesday, capping days of often intense haggling and mounting pressure. Some final pieces of the agreement need to be finalized in detailed legislative language.
Beyond the direct payments to most Americans, the economic stimulus package will expand unemployment benefits and provide a $367 billion program for small businesses to keep making payroll while workers are forced to stay home.
One of the last issues to close concerned $500 billion for guaranteed, subsidized loans to larger industries, including a fight over how generous to be with the airlines. Hospitals would get significant help as well.
“After days of intense discussions, the Senate has reached a bipartisan agreement on a historic relief package for this pandemic,” said Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., a key negotiator. “It will rush new resources onto the front lines of our nation’s health care fight. And it will inject trillions of dollars of cash into the economy as fast as possible to help Americans workers, families, small businesses and industries make it through this disruption and emerge on the other side ready to soar.”
Even before the deal was reached, news of the likely but elusive agreement had sent the stock market rocketing on Tuesday.
The rescue package is larger than the 2008 bank bailout and 2009 recovery act combined.
The package is a one-time direct payments to Americans paid by tax dollars. The final total amount depends on the taxpayers 2018 income levels and how many dependent children they have.