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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's proposal for a "Phase 3" stimulus package in response to the coronavirus outbreak includes cash payments to many Americans and billions for small and large businesses.

Why it matters: The plan would be part of one of the largest and most expensive stimulus packages in American history.

Details:

Individual payments:

  • The plan includes direct payments of $1,200 to individual Americans making less than $75,000 annually, and $2,400 for eligible married couples making less than $150,000 combined, with an additional $500 for every child.
  • The amount of money is reduced by $5 for every $100 that a person earns over $75,000, so Americans earning more than $99,000 will get nothing.
  • Income levels, marital status, and number of children would be based on 2018 tax filings.

Businesses and corporate loans:

  • $50 billion in loan guarantees for passenger air carriers.
  • $8 billion for cargo air carriers.
  • $150 billion for other large businesses.
  • $300 billion for small businesses.

Delays filing deadline for tax returns:

  • Extends the April 15 filing date to July 15.

Retirement funds:

  • Waives penalties for early withdrawal from qualified retirement accounts for coronavirus-related purposes of up to $100,000.

Education loans:

  • Enables the Secretary of Education to defer student loan payments.
  • Allows students who were forced to drop out of school due to coronavirus to keep their Pell grants.
  • Gives colleges and universities flexibility to continue work-study payments to students who cannot work due to coronavirus closures.
What's next:

Negotiations between McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (who has his own plan), and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will now kick into gear.

  • McConnell pledged Thursday that the Senate would not return to their home states until the new legislation is passed.
  • "We need to take bold and swift action as soon as possible," he said. "The Senate is not going anywhere until we take action."

Read the plan.

Go deeper

Scammers seize on COVID confusion

Data: FTC; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

Scamming has skyrocketed in the past year, and much of the increase is attributed to COVID-related scams, more recently around vaccines.

Why it matters: The pandemic has created a prime opportunity for scammers to target people who are already confused about the chaotic rollouts of things like stimulus payments, loans, contact tracing and vaccines. Data shows that older people who aren't digitally literate are the most vulnerable.

12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden explains justification for Syria strike in letter to Congress

Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden told congressional leadership in a letter Saturday that this week's airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to Iranian-backed militia groups was consistent with the U.S. right to self-defense.

Why it matters: Some Democrats, including Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), have criticized the Biden administration for the strike and demanded a briefing.

13 hours ago - Health

FDA authorizes Johnson & Johnson's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

Photo: Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday issued an emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson's one-shot coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: The authorization of a third coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. will help speed up the vaccine rollout across the country, especially since the J&J shot only requires one dose as opposed to Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech's two-shot vaccines.