Democrats, Republicans, and the White House announced a deal in the early hours of Wednesday morning meant to give much-needed relief to American workers and businesses across the country affected by the economic downturns created by the coronavirus global pandemic.
One provision could possibly annoy President Donald Trump somewhat, as it directly affects his corporate bottom line.
Trump and his family members are prohibited from attaining any dollar amount from a loan programthe bill puts in place, amounting to $450 billion in total, which is intended to help struggling businesses during this time.
The provision actually affects almost every lawmaker in Washington D.C. — not one cent of the loan can go to companies owned by members of Congress, Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, or members of Trump’s cabinet. The rule extends to direct family members as well.
But it’s particularly noteworthy for Trump’s interests in particular, as the president hadn’t made clear to reporters earlier this week whether his businesses would benefit from the loan program or not.
In addition to the provision on family members, the bill also allows Congress oversight on what loans the White House does dish out — a rule that hadn’t been in the bill previously, and what led to Senate Democrats blocking passage over the weekend.
“Every loan document will be public and made available to Congress very quickly, so we can see where the money is going, what the terms are and if it’s fair to the American people,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said.
Workers get some help from the bill’s eventual passage, too, as it will extend unemployment insurance benefits. Those in the “gig economy” will be included in the bill’s language.
Every American adult will also receive $1,200 if the bill gets signed into law by Trump, with families receiving an extra $500 for every child.
The bill will likely be fast-tracked through Congress, with the Senate likely voting later on Wednesday for its passage. The House will likely pass the bill on a voice vote, sending it to the president for his signature sometime this week, if all goes according to plan.
Chris Walker is a freelance journalist based in Madison, Wisconsin, who focuses on news, politics, and analysis of world events. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, since 2005 Chris has reported on workers’ rights protests in Wisconsin, opined on four separate presidential elections and written on a number of other political subjects for a variety of national online publications.
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