Breaking Down the Costs of the $2 Trillion Coronavirus Rescue Package

Yuval Rosenberg

The nearly 900-page coronavirus relief package passed by the Senate late Wednesday night includes some $2.3 trillion in costs, according to the The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, though some of that may be recovered over time as, for example, loans get repaid. The ultimate deficit impact of the legislation remains unclear.

Here’s an overview of the elements of the rescue package from Bloomberg:


And here’s the CRFB tally of provisions in the bill, with some additional details:

$510 billion in loans and loan guarantees for large businesses, states and municipalities: The bulk of the assistance for big business would come through $454 billion is funding for the Treasury Department to backstop loans from the Federal Reserve. “Effectively one dollar of loss absorption of backstop from Treasury is enough to support $10 worth of loans,” Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said in an interview with NBC’s “Today” show Thursday morning. “When it comes to this lending we’re not going to run out of ammunition.”

The package also includes $29 billion in loans to passenger and cargo airlines and $10 billion in loans to the U.S. Postal Service.

$377 billion for small business loans and grants: Loans would be forgiven for businesses that spend the funds to maintain their payrolls or cover rent, mortgage interest and utilities. The total also includes $10 billion in emergency grants.

$290 billion for one-time direct payments: See the details below.

About $280 billion in tax cuts for businesses: One key provision would let companies use operating losses from 2018 through 2020 to offset profits from five prior years. Congress had eliminated such “net operating loss carrybacks” as part of the 2017 tax overhaul. This will enable some companies to get large refund checks from the IRS — and, as The Wall Street Journal’s Richard Rubin reported this week, it will create an incentive for companies to pack their losses into 2020 in an effort to recoup prior tax payments.

$260 billion to expand and extend unemployment insurance benefits: The bill would extend coverage by 13 weeks and raise benefits by $600 a week. It would also cover gig workers and others not normally eligible.

More than $180 billion for hospital and health-care spending: This includes $100 billion for hospitals and public health as well as $27 billion in preparedness funding.

$150 billion in aid to states: This funding is mostly allocated by population, but each state is guaranteed to get at least $1.25 billion and the money must go out within 30 days of enactment. (See more details at the Tax Foundation.) Several governors, including New York’s Andrew Cuomo, have already said that the package, which covers COVID-19 expenses, isn’t enough. Cuomo said it fails to address the budget hole that his state faces due to tax revenues lost as a result of the economic shutdown. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday the Congress will still need to provide more money for state and local governments.

$42 billion to strengthen the safety net:  This includes $25 billion for food assistance and $12 billion in housing support.

The package also includes $72 billion in grants and tax breaks for transportation providers, including airlines; $45 billion for FEMA’s disaster assistance fund; $32 billion for education spending; about $10 billion in tax cuts for individuals; and more than $25 billion in other spending.

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