On The Money: Senate passes $484B coronavirus relief package | Confusion reigns as IRS starts issuing coronavirus payments | Why oil prices fell into negative territory — and why it might happen again
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THE BIG DEAL — Senate passes $484B coronavirus relief package: The Senate on Tuesday approved roughly $484 billion in new coronavirus aid for small businesses and hospitals and more funding for testing, ending a lengthy battle over the size and contents of the package.
The agreement was passed by a voice vote after days of negotiations between congressional Democrats and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinPelosi: Negotiators ‘down to the fine print’ on coronavirus relief package Treasury Department releases .9 billion in payroll support for airlines Lawmakers struggle to reach deal on new COVID relief package MORE, with the talks lasting until approximately midnight on both Sunday and Monday.
- The deal includes an additional $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, including $60 billion specifically for community banks and smaller lenders, as well as $75 billion for hospitals, $25 billion for testing and $60 billion for emergency disaster loans and grants, according to a summary obtained by The Hill.
- Lawmakers are under pressure to act quickly as the coronavirus decimates large sectors of the economy where businesses have either scaled back or closer altogether.
The Hill’s Jordain Carney brings us up to speed here.
The background: Congress faced calls to quickly replenish the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds after the initial $349 billion appropriated during last month’s $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package ran out late last week.
- The agreement provides $310 billion for the program, as well as an additional $10 billion for administrative costs and fees.
- The Senate’s passage came only hours after a senior administration official confirmed the agreement had been reached, and less than two hours after text of the bill began to circulate.
What comes next: The House is expected to pass the bill on Thursday morning, with members returning to Washington for a recorded vote. President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says he raised M in March Rosie O’Donnell predicts Trump will ‘lose by a landslide’ in November Treasury Department releases .9 billion in payroll support for airlines MORE threw his support behind the deal on Tuesday.
Read more: President Trump said Tuesday that he is going to ask large businesses and institutions like Harvard University to return money that they received as part of a coronavirus relief package.
LEADING THE DAY
Confusion reigns as IRS starts issuing coronavirus payments: The rollout of coronavirus relief payments has been clouded by confusion for the millions of Americans struggling to understand why they haven’t received their money.
President Trump signed a law late last month that provides one-time direct payments to most Americans of up to $1,200 per adult and $500 per child. Individuals with income under $75,000 and married couples with income under $150,000 qualify for the full amount.
- The IRS moved quickly after enactment, getting the first batch out the door in less than three weeks. The agency also launched web tools in an effort to help people get their money faster.
- The agency last week sent out more than 80 million payments to people via direct deposit.
- But tens of millions more are still waiting for their funds, and they have questions.
The Hill’s Naomi Jagoda tells us why here.
Why oil prices fell into negative territory — and why it might happen again: Oil prices rose back into positive territory Tuesday after dipping negative for the first time in history on Monday. But the rebound may be short lived as a lack of storage space could push markets to a similar crash within the next month.
Overall market conditions have changed little since prices fell as low as negative $40 Monday. The negative prices were caused by a drastic 30 percent cut in the demand for fuel that left companies effectively paying others to store their crude.
With demand at historic lows for the immediate future, a second wave of negative pricing could be seen again. The Hill’s Rebecca Beitsch tells us why.
GOOD TO KNOW
ODDS AND ENDS
- Demonstrations against stay-at-home orders are presenting a new challenge for Facebook in its efforts to combat misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic.
- Nearly 8,000 small businesses that applied for the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program had their information exposed to other applicants on the agency’s loan application site.