President Donald Trump signed a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief legislation on Friday afternoon, March 27, hours after the House passed the measure in order to assist American workers and businesses hit by the fatal virus originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
President Trump said the bill, dubbed the CARES Act, is “the single-biggest economic relief package in American history” as it is “twice as large as any relief ever signed.”
“It’s $2.2 billion, but it actually goes up to 6.2—potentially—billion dollars—trillion dollars,” the president said during an Oval Office signing ceremony. “And this will deliver urgently needed relief to our nation’s families, workers, and businesses.”
According to the historic bill, $300 billion in direct cash payments will be available to every American citizen earning less than $99,000 per year; $3,400 for a typical family of four.
The bill includes $350 billion in job retention loans for small businesses, with loan forgiveness available for businesses that continue paying their workers.
It also includes approximately $250 billion in expanded unemployment benefits, in which the average worker with job lost will receive 100% of their salary for up to four full months.
The legislation sets up a $500 billion corporate liquidity fund to support hard-hit industries, and allocates $377 billion for aid to small businesses.
Over $100 billion will be used to support heroic doctors, nurses, and hospitals; $45 billion spent on the Disaster Relief Fund supporting our state, local, and tribal leaders; and $27 billion for the development of vaccines, therapies, and other public health response efforts.
President Trump thanked “Republicans and Democrats for coming together, setting aside their differences, and putting America first” with their passage of the legislation.
The president said the United States got hit hard by “the invisible enemy,” but noted that he thinks the economy is “going to have a tremendous rebound at the end of the year—toward the end of the year.”
The expensive bill was signed into law after the Senate passed the legislation in a unanimous 96-0 vote overnight Wednesday and the House passed it in a voice vote Friday.
At the signing ceremony the president was joined by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Vice President Mike Pence and other members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. However, the president declined to invite House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democrats to the White House ceremony, according to The Hill.