Mar 25, 2020

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 485 words, a 2-minute read.

1 big thing: What's in the deal — for you

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

We don't have a final stimulus deal yet, thanks to an 11th-hour standoff developing between four Senate Republicans and Sen. Bernie Sanders.

  • Why it matters: Tomorrow's jobless report could be the worst in U.S. history, providing an emphatic reminder of how millions of Americans are feeling the fallout from coronavirus lockdowns.

The standoff:

  • Republican Sens. Tim Scott, Ben Sasse, Lindsey Graham and Rick Scott object to the package providing laid-off workers more unemployment than they'd make at their old jobs.
  • If they force the issue, Sanders is threatening to hold it up over the corporate part of the package.

But here's what's expected in the final bill, according to conversations Axios' Alayna Treene is having with Hill staff:

  • For most people: One-time checks for up to $1,200 a person, and $500 per child, even for those who have no income and those who rely on Social Security and disability. The checks start to phase out after $75,000 of income.
  • For the unemployed: Extended and upgraded unemployment insurance — including for gig workers — for four months with an extra $600/month over the existing program.
  • Use of retirement funds: The bill waives the 10% early withdrawal penalty for distributions up to $100,000 for coronavirus-related purposes, retroactive to Jan. 1.
  • For hospitals and health care workers: $100 billion into hospitals and the nation's health system.
  • For state and local governments: $150 billion.
  • For small businesses (500 employees or less): Forgivable loans and cash-flow assistance from a $350 billion program.
  • Large corporations: $500 billion in loans, loan guarantees and other investments, overseen by a Treasury Department inspector general. These loans will not exceed five years and cannot be forgiven.
  • Airlines will receive $25 billion (of the $500 billion) for passenger air carriers and $4 billion for cargo air carriers.
  • Schools: $30 billion in emergency education funding.
  • Transportation: $25 billion is dedicated to emergency transit funding.

What's next: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed to pass the measure today, but the standoff between senators could threaten that timetable.

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she wants to pass the measure in the House via unanimous consent. A House vote could come as early as tomorrow.
  • But the House could be forced to return from recess to vote on the legislation in person if just one person objects.
Bonus: Pic du jour

Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Teaching in the age of the coronavirus: A NYC teacher who wished to not be identified remote teaches from her roof.

2. Catch up quick
  1. World update: Coronavirus has delayed Putin's constitutional referendum that would allow him to remain in power through 2036.
  2. States update: Minnesota and Idaho become the latest states (21 in total) to issue stay-at-home orders — Half of California's coronavirus infections are between 18- and 49-year-olds.
  3. Cities update: U.S. cities are scrambling to relieve significant fiscal pressure as they try to fight the coronavirus.
  4. Public health update: 6,000 mental health professionals volunteered to help the public with coronavirus stress and anxiety, New York Gov. Cuomo said.
  5. 2020 update: Former Vice President Joe Biden said during a virtual press briefing that he believes the Democratic Party has "had enough debates."
3. 1 helpful thing

Photo: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

In just 24 hours, 405,000 people volunteered to help the U.K.’s National Health Service cope with the country's fast-growing coronavirus outbreak, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said today.

  • The volunteers will be asked to deliver medicine to patients, bring patients home from the hospital, and make phone calls to check on people who have the virus but are remaining at home.
Mike Allen