As the federal government responds to the coronavirus and its economic impact, The Concord Coalition will track and comment on fiscal policy-related actions by policymakers.
The novel coronavirus has spread across the globe. Here in the United States, the pandemic has placed enormous strains on our healthcare system as it struggles to treat thousands of citizens sickened by the virus, and on our economy as non-essential businesses are forced to close their doors and Americans are asked to stay at home in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus.
The federal fiscal response to the outbreak in the U.S. has properly focused on two objectives: fight the virus and stabilize the domestic economy. To date, Congress has passed four pieces of emergency legislation, which are summarized in the table below:
H.R.6074, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, which provided $8 billion for disease detection, protection and treatment;
H.R.6021, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which established temporary short-term and long-term paid leave policies for workers and their families directly affected by exposure to the novel coronavirus; and
H.R.748, The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which provided broad-based emergency federal funding for hospitals and healthcare providers to combat the virus, direct cash payments to individuals and families, and financial assistance to businesses small and large to help cover operating costs during the public health emergency.
H.R.266, The Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act, which recapitalized small business related programs in the original CARES Act, provided additional funding to reimburse healthcare providers for coronavirus-related care and supplies, and supplied a tranche of money for states and federal agencies to expand coronavirus testing, contact tracing, and disease surveillance.
Additional congressional action is expected beyond the four bills summarized below.
To avoid exacerbating the fiscal imbalances that pre-dated this crisis, the Concord Coalition will continue to recommend measures that are timely, targeted, and temporary. This table will be updated as warranted.
To enlarge and read the full table, click on it.
Some of our recent Facing the Future podcasts have discussed the virus and response.
Here is one of our fiscal indicators highlighting the unprecedented economic situation the nation is facing: