What the Democrats Negotiated For In the Senate Relief Bill

Unemployment Benefits

An extended unemployment insurance program for laid-off workers that will allow for four months of “full pay,” rather than the usual three months for most. It will also raise the maximum unemployment insurance benefit by $600 per week. It will apply to traditional workers for small and large businesses as well as those who are self-employed and workers in the gig economy.

Terms of bailout funds for businesses

Large businesses must use the recovery funds to keep 90 percent of their workforce on payroll through September. And they must intend to get back to the number of workers they had in February 2020 by the end of May.

Executive pay is frozen. Those who made more than $425,000 in 2019 at these companies cannot get a raise in salary or any other compensation benefit for a year. Any severance package is limited to no more than twice what they made (total compensation) in 2019. ​

Top executive pay may be cut. At these companies, those who made more than $3 million a year are further limited to no more than $3 million, plus half of whatever amount they earned over $3 million. Thus, at these companies, someone who made $5 million in total compensation last year would see that amount reduced to $4 million. 

​

Large companies cannot engage in paying dividends to stockholders or buying back company stock while the loan is outstanding.​

In addition, companies cannot outsource or move jobs overseas for two years.

​

For the term of the loan, they cannot break any union agreements and must stay neutral in an attempt by a union to organize.


The airlines must meet many of the criteria as large employers (listed above) — namely. no stock buybacks and limits on executive pay — to receive the money.


Oversight

An inspector general must be appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate to oversee the business program. Their title will be “Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery.”

​

The bill specifically says that the inspector general cannot have any previous business relationship with the president, vice president, any member of Congress, any of their children, nor any son- or daughter-in-law.

​

There is also an oversight board of five people appointed by Congress. Each of the four party leaders (from the Senate and House) appoints a member. The speaker of the House and Republican leader in the House together chose a chairman.

For more info on what is included in the relief package:

https://www.npr.org/2020/03/25/818881845/senate-reaches-historic-deal-on-2t-coronavirus-economic-rescue-package

https://www.pbs.org/…/what-the-2-trillion-coronavirus-relie…