SEVERE WX : Special Weather Statement - Air Quality Alert View Alerts

The Senate has a $2 trillion plan. What's the holdup?

CNN's Manu Raju reports.

Posted: Mar 25, 2020 7:36 PM


The No. 1 rule of a successful stimulus is to get it out quickly and flood the zone. The federal government already got two packages out the door, but the one agreed to in the wee hours of Wednesday morning is a whole different level -- a record $2 trillion in government spending. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said this is a "wartime level of investment." But moving something this large ... is like turning an aircraft carrier. It's hard to accomplish at high speeds.

Why the holdup? Hopes for a quick passage seem to be dimming. Republicans in the Senate won on corporate bailouts and other assistance but several are now balking at how unemployment insurance is being dramatically expanded. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is threatening a hold on the bill to gain more oversight over $500 billion for corporate help. On the House side, progressive Democrats like New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez might not agree to a voice vote over how individuals and workers are treated under the deal.

What now? Everyone has to agree in order to get this thing done quickly. Literally. That's because the Senate needs unanimous approval in order to pass this. Bookmark that idea.

In case you haven't noticed, no one in Washington ever agrees on much of anything. Yes, they all agree a stimulus should pass. But the details are difficult and passing it will get harder the more time people have to digest it.

What's in the bill?

Stimulus checks! -- Most Americans will get some kind of help from the latest draft of this bill (it's still a draft!). But not everyone. About 90% of Americans would be eligible for some kind of payment, according to one estimate. Read here for Katie Lobosco and Tami Luhby's breakdown.

Key element: $250 billion to give up to $1,200 to individuals, $2,400 to couples, $500 per child -- However, the payments would start to phase out for individuals with adjusted gross incomes of more than $75,000, and those making more than $99,000 would not qualify at all. The thresholds are doubled for couples.

When will checks be mailed? Not clear. -- Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the administration expects to issue them within three weeks of the stimulus package being signed into law. But seriously, probably not until May, experts told CNN. The government is not at full capacity since lots of employees are working from home. In-person tax centers, for instance, have been closed. The IRS is still going to have to calculate payments, find people and figure out how to pay them.

What if you lose your job and a one-time check is nice, but ...? -- The bill includes an equal amount of money -- $250 billion -- to greatly expand unemployment benefits, providing them to gig workers and amping up payments on four months of unemployment by $600 a week. Again, some Republican senators -- starting with Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Tim Scott of South Carolina -- have said the bill incentivizes unemployment and they could block it. So we'll see what happens.

More money in the bill for companies than for individuals -- A lot of the help is in the form of loans and there are conditions intended to make companies keep employees on the payroll. That includes:

- $350 billion in loans to small businesses in the hopes they keep people employed.

- $500 billion in bailouts for firms, including the airline industry, companies deemed necessary for national security.

- Billions to stockpile medical supplies.

Plus there's $150 billion in direct aid to states, although states like New York have already said they'll need more than their chunk of that pie.

What's else is inside? -- We're still finding out! And many lawmakers will vote on this thing without reading it all.

In the grand tradition of must-pass urgently needed bills, figuring out what's actually in the sausage is an interesting exercise. CNN had a group going line by line through it all (or at least the latest draft). Read the full story, written by a full (virtual) reading room of people, here.

Some of what they've found:

- No money for any of President Donald Trump's businesses (or Cabinet members or members of Congress or their families) from Treasury Department loans

- No money for the border wall

- Airlines and airports get what they wanted -- That's $32 billion in grants for airline wages, more for contractors and $25 billion in loans. This aid includes conditions that bar furloughs and stock buybacks, caps on executive compensation and more.

- Student loan payments suspended through September -- The Education Department is already giving people 60 days.

- Protections against foreclosures and evictions for 60-plus days -- The legislation says that servicers of federally backed mortgage loans may not begin the foreclosure process for 60 days from March 18.

- Money for the arts -- The draft includes $25 million for the Kennedy Center.

Where's the money come from? -- Flash back to when people were concerned about deficits and debt. Everyone in the country needs to learn right this second about Modern Monetary Theory. Print the money. Help the people.

What's going on with the actual pandemic?

It's still getting worse. Coronavirus patients have begun to overwhelm some US hospitals.

"Last week when I went to work, we talked about the one or two patients amongst the dozens of others that might have been a Covid or coronavirus patient," Dr. Craig Spencer, director of global health in emergency medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Tuesday.

"In my shift yesterday, nearly every single patient that I took care of was coronavirus, and many of them extremely severe. Many were put on breathing tubes. Many decompensated quite quickly."

Timeline -- The peak of US deaths may not come for three weeks. But then it could decrease quickly.

US privately asks for foreign help

The US, overwhelmed and unprepared for a public health crisis of this scale, is now asking other countries for help. Read this from CNN's Nicole Gaouette:

In a list obtained by CNN, the State Department lays out 25 items, telling diplomats to ask their host countries for these supplies with a clear priority on items available "today" and a secondary focus on equipment and items available in weeks.

...

The administration is making these private appeals as Trump is striking a starkly different note in public. At Tuesday's daily coronavirus briefing from the White House, not long after he had called the South Korean leader, the President veered into campaign-style rhetoric, declaring that, "America will never be a supplicant nation."

Why is Germany doing better?

We've seen comparisons between South Korea, which has a low number of Covid-19 deaths compared with infections, and Italy, which is very high.

Now there are similar looks at Germany.

Why have certain countries done better than others at keeping their Covid-19 mortality rates down?

Here are some educated guesses with regard to Germany from Kent Sepkowitz, a CNN medical analyst. He looks and finds important considerations about:

who is infected in various countries.

how they're being diagnosed (access to testing!).

the different health care systems.

As simple as nurses? One bottom line he proposes is that the number of nurses per capita is higher in Germany and nurses are the backbone of the health care system.

Trump is as popular as he's ever been

CNN's Chris Cillizza has been looking at polls that show a bump in approval for Trump and how he's handling the crisis.

These words are his:

On one level, this isn't terribly surprising. Polling consistently shows a rallying effect around the president when major crises face the country. In the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, for example, President George W. Bush's approval rating soared into the high 80s and low 90s. There's a tendency for even partisans of the opposite party from the president to soften a bit in their perception of him as we are reminded of our common humanity and the need for our leaders to, well, lead us out of crisis.

On another, however, Trump's high approval ratings for how he has dealt with coronavirus and how he is handling the job more broadly might well shock people who have been keeping close track of his and his administration's performance on the pandemic.

After all, it's quite clear that the administration simply didn't take the threat of coronavirus seriously enough soon enough. And the testing capabilities for coronavirus in the US were decidedly slow. And Trump's public statements have been marked by inaccurate claims (the test is "perfect," the vaccine is coming fast, etc).

But what the Gallup and Monmouth numbers seem to suggest is that either

a) people aren't following every single statement made by Trump on this matter or

b) they don't hold him personally responsible for the hiccups along the way.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 612001

Reported Deaths: 7756
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1269201801
Ramsey53281911
Dakota47414477
Anoka43426465
Washington27780296
Stearns22738227
St. Louis18329319
Scott17747139
Wright16603153
Olmsted13567103
Sherburne1217096
Carver1078349
Clay830492
Rice8283112
Blue Earth772444
Crow Wing691299
Kandiyohi672285
Chisago629355
Otter Tail591987
Benton587798
Goodhue487274
Douglas480381
Mower478634
Winona465452
Itasca463768
Isanti447267
McLeod435861
Morrison429262
Beltrami411563
Nobles410950
Steele401619
Polk391272
Becker389957
Lyon366154
Carlton357158
Freeborn353134
Pine338123
Nicollet335045
Mille Lacs315756
Brown309140
Le Sueur301028
Todd289233
Cass288933
Meeker267344
Waseca241723
Martin237433
Roseau212721
Wabasha20873
Hubbard198741
Dodge19133
Renville184246
Redwood178741
Houston176016
Cottonwood168224
Wadena165223
Fillmore160110
Faribault157420
Chippewa154238
Pennington154120
Kanabec148028
Sibley147410
Aitkin140037
Watonwan13629
Rock129719
Jackson123112
Pipestone117226
Yellow Medicine115620
Pope11416
Swift107718
Murray107610
Koochiching96819
Stevens92611
Clearwater89517
Marshall89017
Lake85020
Wilkin84213
Lac qui Parle76222
Big Stone6114
Grant5958
Lincoln5863
Mahnomen5669
Norman5509
Kittson49222
Unassigned48393
Red Lake4037
Traverse3835
Lake of the Woods3504
Cook1740

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 376815

Reported Deaths: 6122
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk59215646
Linn21567342
Scott20530250
Black Hawk16850320
Woodbury15378230
Johnson1479586
Dubuque13627215
Dallas1150699
Pottawattamie11393177
Story1092548
Warren594392
Clinton565894
Cerro Gordo564898
Webster546397
Sioux520574
Muscatine4956106
Marshall493679
Des Moines481776
Jasper454273
Wapello4402124
Buena Vista432340
Plymouth405782
Lee396958
Marion372378
Henry301737
Jones301357
Bremer294663
Carroll287252
Boone273735
Crawford273541
Benton264255
Washington261051
Dickinson251145
Mahaska235151
Jackson225943
Kossuth222166
Clay217927
Tama213872
Delaware213343
Winneshiek201337
Buchanan197834
Page195722
Cedar194323
Hardin192544
Wright191240
Hamilton189251
Fayette188943
Harrison182873
Clayton173258
Butler169135
Madison168019
Floyd165242
Mills164724
Cherokee162238
Lyon161241
Poweshiek159836
Allamakee156452
Hancock154034
Iowa149124
Winnebago147031
Calhoun144813
Cass142155
Grundy139733
Emmet137341
Jefferson135535
Sac133320
Shelby132238
Louisa130749
Union129535
Franklin129223
Appanoose128749
Mitchell127343
Chickasaw126017
Humboldt126026
Guthrie125332
Palo Alto115224
Montgomery106938
Howard105522
Clarke102624
Monroe101533
Keokuk100432
Ida93735
Adair90132
Davis88525
Pocahontas87022
Monona86731
Greene80011
Osceola79517
Lucas78323
Worth7648
Taylor67112
Decatur6649
Fremont64910
Van Buren57318
Ringgold57124
Wayne56623
Audubon53613
Adams3504
Unassigned80
Rochester
Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 61°
Mason City
Cloudy
63° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 63°
Albert Lea
Mostly Cloudy
° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: °
Austin
Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 61°
Charles City
Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 64°
Drier conditions for the weekend
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events