CARES Act Details Released
Senator Mitch McConnell released details of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act last night, March 19. Democrats have insisted that the package include additional discretionary appropriations, and this morning Senate Democrats released a list of proposed items - which heavily focus on state and local needs - that they want included in the final version of the Coronavirus phase 3 relief bill.
Some key documents:
- Bill text. The drafted text of the law;
- Industries Press Release. The news release from the U.S. Senate introducing the CARES Act and its coverage for affected American industries;
- Tax Provisions explained. An explanation of the tax provisions in the CARES Act;
- Small Businesses explained. A section-by-section explanation of the small business provisions in the CARES Act;
- HELP Committee Summary Chart on Health Provisions. A summary chart of Title X: Health benefits from the proposed package; and
- Health Task Force Proposals explained. The Senate Finance Committee’s section-by-section explanation of the health care provisions in the CARES act.
The Administration and Senate Republicans have indicated that the final package should include items from the Senate Democrats’ list. What is currently unknown is how many of those items will be added and how much money will be allocated in the package. The additional appropriations could be anywhere from $200-400 million, putting the bill’s final figure well over $1 trillion. As a frame of reference, regular annual non-defense discretionary spending totals for FY 2020 are $624 billion (excluding money designated for overseas contingency funding), and the Obama Stimulus package was $1 trillion.
House and Senate Democrats are negotiating the provisions with Congressional Republicans and with the Administration. The Senate wants to vote on the package on Monday, March 23; however, negotiations are intense, and it’s unclear if the discussions will wrap up tonight the way McConnell has stated they should. The situation remains fluid, but once the measure passes, legislators will leave DC for an unspecified period of time.