President Trump signed phase two of the coronavirus response bill into law Wednesday. The emergency aid package will provide billions of dollars to help Americans impacted by Covid-19.
The massive stimulus package is also aimed at preventing the US economy from plummeting into one of its worst collapses in history. The House-passed bill approved by the Senate Wednesday grants paid sick leave, expands unemployment benefits, provides food assistance and free testing for Covid-19. Lawmakers are now shifting their focus to phase three. Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would not adjourn the Senate until a "far bolder package" is passed.
The $1 trillion proposal would help specific sectors like the airline industry, hit hardest by the global pandemic. The stimulus package would also provide relief to small businesses and send money directly to the hands of Americans, as soon as April 6. Small business owners like Saul Obregon say any amount would help. Obregon is now operating his taco truck La Macro on Houston's north side, by himself.
"I can say honestly we’ve lost probably about $15,000 already," Obregon said.
Obregon said he has not been able to pay any of his employees after four of his scheduled catering events were canceled.
"I'm here by myself doing everything and so that’s going to help me to be able to pay them you know. Bills are not stopping. We have to make money somehow you know," Obregon said.
Others say the checks would be a good start, but worry it won't be enough.
"I don’t know if it's going to be enough, you know. I think average rent in Houston is over a thousand dollars, at least," Andrew Taylor said.
"It’s good to have a start and its good to see our government discussing that and getting there, but it's absolutely not enough. It scares me every single day. I’m an economist so for me personally, looking at the way our economy is headed and how this is happening. I think it doesn’t matter what income bracket you’re in, you’re scared about what the future holds right now," said Lindsay Oyola.
President Trump would not specify the exact amount Americans could receive indirect payments, citing instead that several different options were being discussed. Lawmakers hope to unveil the final plans for phase three later this week.