The Senate passed a $2 trillion economic stimulus bill Thursday night in a unanimous vote (96-0).
Called the CARES Act, the bill will (according to Senate Republicans):
- Provides a $340 billion surge in emergency funding to combat the coronavirus outbreak. More than 80% of the funding package goes to state and local governments and communities.
- Includes $100 billion for hospitals and health care providers to ensure they receive the support they need for coronavirus-related expenses and lost revenue.
- Includes $16 billion to procure personal protective equipment (PPEs), ventilators, and other medical supplies for federal and state response efforts via the Strategic National Stockpile.
- Includes $11 billion for vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics, and other preparedness needs, with at least $3.5 billion of that to advance construction, manufacturing, and purchase of vaccines and therapeutic delivery to the American people. This is in addition to the billions already provided for these activities in the first supplemental.
- Includes $4.3 billion for the Centers for Disease Control.
- Includes $45 billion for the FEMA disaster relief fund.
- Includes over $19 billion for the Department of Veterans Affairs to support increased demand for health care services at VA facilities and through telehealth, including the purchase of medical equipment and supplies, testing kits, and personal protective equipment. Also enables VA to provide additional support for vulnerable veterans.
As well as:
- Increases the supply of drugs and critical equipment, including ventilators and masks.
- Boosts hiring for coronavirus-related health care jobs.
- Ensures all coronavirus tests are free for patients.
- Speeds the development of new vaccines and treatments.
- Ensures Medicare patients can access treatment for coronavirus by increasing payments for providers, and eliminating charges for an eventual vaccine. It also ensures Medicare Part D beneficiaries access to prescription drugs during the emergency.
The CARES Act clocks in at 880 pages. Full text of bill embedded at bottom of post.
The bill now goes to the House, who is expected to vote Friday morning. Trump has urged Congress to pass relief legislation quickly and has promised to sign the relief package immediately.
— Mike DeBonis (@mikedebonis) March 26, 2020
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