Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

What's in the $2 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Package?

Mar 25, 2020 | Economics

Updated on 4/21/2020 and 4/29/2020 to reflect the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) estimate and subsequent revisions. 

Lawmakers recently approved the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act – the third and most expansive package designed to address the public health and economic crisis brought on by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

This blog post is a product of the COVID Money Tracker, a new initiative of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget focused on identifying and tracking the disbursement of the trillions being poured into the economy to combat the crisis through legislative, administrative, and Federal Reserve actions.

The legislation expands and extends unemployment benefits, sends most Americans a $1,200 per person check, incentivizes and compensates businesses to keep workers employed, facilitates new loans and grants to large and small businesses, increases aid to states, spends more on hospitals, offers targeted tax relief, and enacts other tax and spending changes.

The CARES Act appropriates roughly $2.2 trillion of spending, tax breaks, loans, and other resources over the next decade. CBO estimates it would add $1.7 trillion to the deficit over that period. The difference is driven largely by the $454 billion from the bill dedicated to supporting roughly $4.5 trillion of Federal Reserve loans – CBO does not believe these funds will result in any net cost. 

Provision Budget Authority Deficit Impact
Expand & Extend Unemployment Benefits $268 billion $268 billion
Boost all unemployment benefits by $600 per week, cover additional workers who would not normally be eligible, provide an additional 13 weeks of benefits, & other changes $268 billion $268 billion
     
Issue One-Time Checks $293 billion $293 billion
Provide tax rebates of $1,200/adult & $500/child, phased out above $75,000 of income ($150,000/couple) $293 billion $293 billion
     
Provide Small Business Loans & Grants $377 billion $377 billion
Support, issue, & guarantee loans to small businesses; offer loan forgiveness for funds spent on payroll, rent, mortgage interest, & utilities $366 billion $366 billion
Provide emergency grants for small businesses $10 billion $10 billion
Issue grants related to small businesses & entrepreneurial development $1 billion $1 billion
     
Support Loans & Loan Guarantees for Large Businesses & Governments $510 billion $11 billion
Provide loans to passenger airlines $25 billion $0.6 billion
Provide loans to cargo airlines $4 billion $0.1 billion
Provide loans to firms vital to maintaining national security  $17 billion $0.4 billion
Provide loans to the U.S. Postal Service for operating expenses $10 billion $10 billion
Support $4.5 trillion of loans to businesses, states, & municipalities via new Federal Reserve facility $454 billion $0
     
Support State & Local Governments $150 billion $150 billion
Provide aid to states (at least $1.25 billion per state) $150 billion $150 billion
     
Increase Health-Related Spending  $153 billion $159 billion
Increase hospital & public health funding $100 billion $100 billion
Increase preparedness funding $27 billion $27 billion
Increase funding for community health centers $6 billion $6 billion
Increase Medicare payments, expand telehealth & home services, & repeal Medicare sequester $28 billion $25 billion
Extend Medicare sequester  -$36 billion -$26 billion
Increase funding for the CDC, FDA, NIH, IHS, & other health-related agencies $8 billion  $8 billion
Increase funding toward veterans & defense health $20 billion $19 billion
     
Support the Safety Net $42 billion $42 billion
Increase SNAP (food stamps) & child nutrition funding $25 billion $25 billion
Increase child & family services funding $5 billion $5 billion
Boost housing support $12 billion $12 billion
     
Increase Disaster Assistance  $45 billion $44 billion
Expand FEMA disaster assistance fund $45 billion $44 billion
     
Increase Education Spending  $40 billion $40 billion
Establish Education Stabilization Fund for states, school districts, & higher education institutions $31 billion $31 billion
Enact supplemental appropriations for Department of Education programs <$1 billion <$1 billion
Preserving student aid for those affected by COVID-19 $1 billion $1 billion
Defer payments & interest on federally-held student loans for 6 months $8 billion $8 billion
     
Support Transportation Providers & Industries $71 billion $63 billion
Provide grants to air carriers & airline contractors to avoid furloughs & pay cuts $32 billion $24 billion
Issue infrastructure grants to transit providers, including state & local governments $25 billion $25 billion
Provide grants to publicly-owned commercial airports $10 billion $10 billion
Temporarily suspend airline ticket, cargo, & fuel taxes $4 billion $4 billion
     
Reduce Individual Taxes $20 billion $20 billion
Permanently allow HSA purchases of menstrual products & over-the-counter (OTC) medications  $9 billion $9 billion
Loosen caps on deductibility of charitable giving as a share of income $1 billion $1 billion
Provide temporary deduction for up to $300 of charitable donations by nonitemizers $2 billion $2 billion
Allow up to $100,000 to be withdrawn from retirement accounts for reasons related to COVID-19 $3 billion $3 billion
Temporarily waive retirement minimum distribution rules $5 billion $5 billion
Temporarily exclude employer-provided student loan assistance from income $0.5 billion $0.5 billion
     
Cut Business Taxes  $241 billion $241 billion
Loosen caps imposed under the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act on interest deductibility & operating losses $174 billion $174 billion
Offer payroll tax credits for businesses who retain workers at a loss $55 billion $55 billion
Delay employer payroll tax payments from 2020 to 2021 & 2022 $12 billion $12 billion
Allow retailers & restaurants to write off the cost of improvements * *
     
Other Spending   $15 billion $14 billion
     
TOTAL  $2.2 trillion $1.7 trillion

Budget Authority and Deficit Impact are over the 2020-2030 budget window. Numbers may not sum due to rounding. *Scores with no effect because it was already estimated as part of the 2017 tax cuts, even though the change will reduce revenue.
Source: Congressional Budget OfficeJCT, bill text, CRFB calculations.