White House officials are working with congressional Republicans on an emergency stimulus package that could send two $1,000 checks to many Americans and also devote $300 billion towards helping small businesses avoid mass layoffs, according to two senior administration officials and a Treasury Department fact sheet.
No final decisions have been made and talks with Republican leaders remain fluid, but the growing scale of the $1 trillion rescue plan is coming into sharper focus. The Treasury Department is circulating a two-page sheet of priorities that it wants to see in the final deal. As part of it, the White House seeks to create a $50 billion “airline industry secured lending facility” that would allow it to make direct loans to “U.S. passenger and cargo air carriers.”
Treasury would determine the interest rates and other terms of any loans, but they would include limits “on increases in executive compensation until repayment of the loans.”
The current $1 trillion Trump plan would seek to spend $500 billion towards the cash payments to individual Americans, though some people wouldn’t qualify if their income is over a certain level. The Treasury Department outline says the funds would be paid out in two equal amounts, beginning on April 6 and then again on May 18.
One of the goals of the White House’s decision to seek $300 billion for small businesses in the plan would be to help firms continue paying employees, as there has already been a wave of layoffs, particularly at restaurants and other companies where business was suddenly halted as millions of Americans began staying at home under government warnings about contagion.