What Matters: The Senate has a $2 trillion plan. What’s the holdup?


What now? Everyone must agree to get this thing done quickly. Literal. That's because the Senate needs unanimous approval to pass this. Notice that idea.

In case you didn't notice, no one in Washington ever agreed to much of anything. Yes, they all agree that a stimulus should pass. But the details are difficult, and it becomes more difficult to give you more time to digest it.

Stimulus checks! – Most Americans will receive some kind of help from the last draft of this bill (it is still a draft!). But not all. About 90% of Americans would be eligible for some kind of payment, according to an estimate. Read here for Katie Lobosco and Tami Luhby's breakdown.

Key element: $ 250 billion to provide up to $ 1,200 to individuals, $ 2,400 to couples, $ 500 per child – However, payouts will begin to be phased out for people with adjusted gross earnings of more than $ 75,000, and those earning more than $ 99,000 will not qualify at all. Thresholds are doubled for couples.

When are checks sent? Unclear. – Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the administration expects to issue them within three weeks after the stimulus package was signed into law. But seriously, probably not until May, experts told CNN. The government does not have full capacity since many employees work from home. For example, toll centers have been closed. The tax authorities will still have to calculate payments, find people and figure out how to pay them.
What if you lose your job and a one-time check is fine, but …? – The bill includes an equal amount – $ 250 billion – to extensively extend unemployment benefits and provide them with gambling jobs and Strengthen payments on four months of unemployment by $ 600 a week. Again, some Republican senators – starting with Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Tim Scott of South Carolina – have said that the bill stimulates unemployment and that they can block it. So we'll see what happens.

More money in the bill for companies than for individuals – Much of the help is in the form of loans, and there are conditions that are intended to get companies to keep employees on the payroll. It includes:

– $ 350 billion in loans to small businesses hoping to keep people employed.


– $ 500 billion in bail for companies, including the aviation industry, companies deemed necessary for national security.

– Billions to store medical supplies.

Plus, there is $ 150 billion in direct support for states, though states like New York have already said they will need more than their share of that pie.


What else is inside? – We still find out! And many lawmakers will vote on this thing without reading everything.

In the grand tradition of must-pass passing bills that is needed, it is an interesting exercise to find out what is really in the sausage. CNN had a group that went line by line through it all (or at least the last draft). Read the full story, written by a full (virtual) reading room for people here.

Some of what they found:

– No money for anything President Donald Trump's activities (or cabinet members or members of Congress or their families) from the Treasury loan

– No money for the border wall

– Airlines and airports get what they want – There are $ 32 billion in grants for airline salaries, more for entrepreneurs and $ 25 billion in loans. This support includes conditions that prevent stock pre-purchase and repurchase, luxury compensation and more.

– Student loan payments suspended until September –– The education department is already there gives people 60 days.

– Protection against forced entry and expulsion for 60 plus days – The legislation says that employees of federally supported mortgages cannot start the 60-day foreclosure process from March 18.

– Money for the art – The draft includes $ 25 million for the Kennedy Center.
Where does the money come from? – Glimpse back to when people were worried about deficits and debt. Everyone in the country needs to learn exactly this second about modern monetary theory. Print the money. Help the people.

What happens to the pandemic itself?

"Last week when I went to work, we talked about one or two patients among dozens of others who may have been a Covid or coronavirus patient," said Dr. Craig Spencer, director of global health in emergency medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian / Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, CNN's Anderson Cooper told Tuesday.

"In my shift yesterday, almost every single patient I took on coronavirus, and many of them were extremely serious. Many were put on breathing tubes. Many decompensated fairly quickly."

Timeline – The peak of US deaths may not come in three weeks. But then it can subside quickly.

The United States is asking for foreign aid privately

The US, overwhelmed and unprepared for a public health crisis on this scale, is now asking other countries for help. Read this from CNN's Nicole Gaouette:

In a list obtained by CNN, the State Department is posting 25 items asking diplomats to ask their host countries for these supplies with a clear priority on available goods "today" and a secondary focus on equipment and goods available within weeks.

The administration is making these private appeals as Trump makes a clear remark in public. On Tuesday's daily White House coronavirus briefing, not long after calling the South Korean leader, the president went into campaign-style rhetoric declaring that "America will never be a requesting nation."

Why does Germany do better?

We have seen comparisons between South Korea, which has a low number of deaths from Covid-19 compared to infections, and Italy, which are very high.

Now it is similar in appearance to Germany.

Why have some countries done better than others in keeping Covid-19 mortality down?

Here are some educated guesses regarding Germany from Kent Sepkowitz, a CNN medical analyst. He looks and finds important considerations around:

which are infected in different countries.

how they are diagnosed (access to testing!).

the various health care systems.

As simple as nurses? One of the most important points he proposes is that the number of nurses per capita is higher in Germany and nurses are the backbone of health care.

Trump is as popular as he has ever been

CNN's Chris Cillizza has looked at polls that show a bump in Trump's approval and how he is handling the crisis.

On one level, this is not very surprising. Polling consistently shows a rallying effect around the president when major crises face the country. In the wake of September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, for example, increased President George W. Bush's approval rating to the high 80s and low 90s. There is a tendency that even partisans from the opposite party from the president soften their perception of him as we are reminded of our common humanity and the need for our leaders, well, to lead us out of the crisis.

On another, however, Trump's high approval ratings for how he has coped with the coronavirus and how he handles the job are broader, shocking people who have kept a close eye on his and his administration's pandemic performance.

After all, it's pretty clear that the administration simply didn't take the threat of coronavirus seriously enough soon enough. And the test features for coronavirus in the US were pretty slow. And Trump's public statements have been characterized by inaccurate claims (the test is "perfect", the vaccine is coming fast, etc.).

But what Gallup and Monmouth figures seem to imply is either

a) people do not follow every single statement from Trump about this matter or

b) they do not hold him personally liable for hiccups along the way.

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