President Donald Trump signed into law an unprecedented $2 trillion economic relief package on Friday designed to address the fallout from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“I want to thank Democrats and Republicans for coming together and putting America first,” Trump said.
The president’s signature came shortly after the House passed the package on Friday. The House vote, however, faced an unexpected roadblock when Rep. Thomas Massie — a Kentucky Republican — sought to have lawmakers register their votes in person. The move drew sharp rebukes from lawmakers on both sides, as well as tweets from Trump calling for Massie’s removal from the Republican Party.
The House eventually moved forward with its original plan to do a voice vote, sending it on to Trump to sign the measure into law.
House leaders praised the bill as being a largely bipartisan effort to get aid to the country.
“We want to demonstrate that we do care for the American people in every way,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.
“To the American public: We hear you, and we’re working for you,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said. “We will get through this together.”
Some of the package’s main provisions include:
- A $500 billion lending program for cities, states and businesses, with $29 billion in loans earmarked for the airline industry and $17 billion for businesses deemed critical for national security (which includes Boeing)
- A $350 billion loan program for businesses with under 500 workers that pledge not to lay off any workers
- An expansion of unemployment insurance that allows freelancers, gig workers and furloughed employees to receive $600 a week for four months
- $150 billion in emergency aid for states
- $117 billion for hospitals
- $75 million each for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, $50 million to the Institute of Museum and Library Services and $25 million for the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
- $1,200 in one-time, direct payments for individual Americans who make $75,000 or less a year