President Donald Trump has signed the massive measure approved by Congress aimed at helping laid-off workers, financially strapped companies and a stressed health care system as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
Final congressional action came on March 27, when the House passed the bill by voice vote. President Trump signed it a short time later.
Two days earlier, the Senate cleared the package on a 96-0 vote.
Under the final version—the product of a bipartisan Senate-White House agreement announced early on March 25—billions of dollars could go for infrastructure or other construction, including hospitals, airports and transit systems. The legislation’s overall total has been estimated at $2 trillion.
Other provisions would provide loans to help small businesses of all types, including engineering and construction firms, and direct payments to individuals.
But there’s a crucial caveat about the spending. In some cases, it would be up to states, localities and other recipients to determine how much of the broad-ranging grants or other types of aid would be devoted to operations and how much to construction.
Financially strapped aid recipients such as airports and transit systems might well decide to use the money to offset the dramatic revenue losses they have seen, rather than for construction projects.