Coronavirus: Senate bill could pay each adult up to $1,200

Update 6:19 p.m. ET March 19 -- Senate Republicans unveiled details of the plan to provide direct cash payments to Americans in order to shore up the economy as the U.S. fights the coronavirus. Final numbers are still fluid, but the proposal calls for payments of up to $1,200 for most adults, plus an additional $500 for each child, the Washington Post reported. Payments begin to reduce for adults earning more than $75,000 per year, or $150,000 per couple, and end completely at $99,000 for individuals. Americans with no income could receive $600 payments.

Previous story: Legislators on Thursday worked to finalize the third in a series of bills designed to U.S. citizens and companies as the COVID-19 virus threatens Americans’ health and pocketbooks.

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, urged fellow lawmakers to take “bold steps” as he sketched out the plan to put money in the pockets of Americans, and to do it quickly.

"It is critical that we move swiftly and boldly to begin to stabilize our economy, preserve Americans' jobs, get money to workers and families and keep up our fight on the health front. That is exactly, exactly what our proposal will do," McConnell said.

The first federal checks to families could be $3,000 for a family of four under the White House proposal according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

The proposed payments would be $1,000 per adult and $500 per child so that a family of two parents and two children would receive $3,000. Checks would be direct deposited into people’s accounts, and Mnuchin told Fox News that he hopes the money would be out in three weeks.

If the national emergency still exists at the end of April, families would receive another $3,000 in mid-May. Not everyone would get the money. Payments would be allocated by income level. That level has not been set, though some in the administration and Congress have mentioned the top end figure could be $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for couples.

Direct payments would go to U.S. citizens only, and the payments would be identical. The first payment could come April 6, with the second wave starting by May 18.

The third bill has come quickly on the heels of two previous coronavirus aid bills. On Wednesday, the Senate voted to approve a bill passed by the House early Saturday that calls for spending nearly $100 billion on paid leave, unemployment insurance, and free testing to people affected by the coronavirus

Trump signed the bill Wednesday night.

The first bill, passed earlier this month, supplies $8.3 billion in emergency spending for public health systems.

The bill being crafted now would cost some $1 trillion, with $500 billion of that going toward cash payments to individual taxpayers.

The airline industry would look to get $50 billion, possibly through a “secured lending facility” that would make direct loans to U.S. carriers, while other sectors, such as hotels and possibly restaurants, would see a $150 billion rescue package.

No exact amounts have been announced. The White House said Wednesday that the negotiations were ongoing.

“We’re coming up with numbers. Haven’t gotten there yet, but certainly, the hotel industry, cruise ship industry, the airlines — those are all prime candidates,” President Donald Trump said.

President Trump on Wednesday ordered the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to suspend through April evictions and foreclosures for homeowners with mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration.

The Senate plans to remain in session until the third coronavirus bill passes.

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