The legislation, which has not yet been enacted into law and with it remaining an open question as to whether the President will veto the package, includes $284 billion in funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), stimulus checks for individuals and an extension of federal unemployment benefits.
The $900 billion plan is roughly half the size of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act passed in March 2020. The majority of funding from that “Phase 3” package is set to expire over the next few weeks. Congress also approved $1.4 trillion to fund the federal government through September 30, 2021.
The bill contains several important tax-related reprovisions. The bill approves tax deductions for business expenses paid with forgiven PPP loans. The package also extends tax credits through March 21, 2021, for employers offering paid sick leave under the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA).
Given the size of the bill, many details are still emerging. However, some of the key provisions include, but are not limited to:
The bill contains over 5,500 pages of pandemic-related aid measures and passed overwhelmingly in both chambers. Congressional leaders identified the looming expiration of extended unemployment programs and the federal eviction moratorium as motivating factors to finalize the historic deal. Absent congressional action, up to 12 million Americans faced losing emergency unemployment benefits the day after Christmas.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stated the direct stimulus checks could be mailed as early as next week. The incoming presidential administration indicated it will push for additional relief measures as soon as possible.
Having been approved by both chambers of Congress, the bill now awaits the President’s signature to go into effect. As of this publication, it remains uncertain as to whether the President will sign the bill into law; if so, when and/or whether Congress will override any Presidential veto. We will continue to monitor and publish updates as they become available.
The Coronavirus Task Force at Klehr Harrison stands ready to assist you in your business and legal needs. We will continue to provide additional information and guidance as the COVID-19 situation develops.
Author Jonathan Krause is a partner in the litigation department at Klehr Harrison.