Who got special deals in the stimulus and why they got them

The gaming industry has not been left out either: casinos can use government loans for disaster relief, repayment by casino were prevented from receiving tax breaks for other companies after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

When the colossal $ 2 trillion bailout package is heading for President Donald Trump’s desk this weekend, it is clear that special interests and members of Congress will not wipe out the pandemic crisis.

Here you can see a handful of special offers and how they got into the incentive:

Relief for travel agencies

Special deal: The ability to apply for $ 25 billion in loans and loan guarantees reserved for airlines.

How you got it: The airlines used their clout to include double-digit billion dollar grants and loans, but not only the airlines will benefit. The airline’s $ 25 billion loan and loan guarantees also benefit eligible companies that are “authorized to perform inspection, repair, replacement, or overhaul services and ticket agents.” The last two words – “ticket agencies” – mean that travel agencies that book flights can also apply for part of the $ 25 billion.

Better, faster sun protection

Special deal: The final invoice contains the language that ensures that the FDA checks newer and newer ingredients for over-the-counter sunscreen products in good time.

How you got it: The call for sunscreens is part of the long-awaited effort to reform the over-the-counter pharmaceutical industry, which has been included in the Rescue Law with the support of this industry and various health groups. In addition to expanding FDA oversight of over-the-counter products, the provision would streamline the process of changing security labels. Legislation has passed the House and the Senate in various forms over the past two years. Last year the Senate passed a law without any problems with 91 votes to 2.

In addition to over-the-counter reforms, the final aid package includes some updates to the Sunscreen Innovation Act, a McConnell-sponsored 2014 law that was legally signed by former President Barack Obama. in the an explanation At the time, McConnell complained of the slow review of sunscreen applications that could potentially be more effective in protecting the skin, and added that the bill will benefit Kentucky workers who manufacture “innovative in-house sunscreen products” in the state.

Justice for small states

Special deal: The agreement would provide $ 150 billion to state and local governments, with no state receiving less than $ 1.5 billion. States are calling for help as tax revenues dwindle and unemployment claims rise by tens of thousands every day.

How you got it: Leahy, the highest-ranking Democrat on the Senate Committee on Funds, represents Vermont. He told reporters Thursday that he was pushing for language to ensure that small states don’t lose emergency funds.

Job security for military brass

Special deal: The bailout package allows Trump to extend the term of office of up to seven senior military leaders: the Air Force chief of staff; the chief of space operations; the chief of the National Guard Bureau; the directors of the Army and Air National Guard; and the chief of the Army and Navy reserves. Many of these top officers’ terms expire later this year. The provision would allow Trump to keep these current executives on the job until the successors are confirmed.

How you got it: The provision has been included in a first Republican version of the Senate stimulus and is supported by the Senate Armed Forces Committee. The goal is to give Trump options to fill leadership positions in the coronavirus crisis. “In this unprecedented time, the committee and the administration wanted to ensure that we have all possible options to fill critical military positions,” said Marta Hernandez, a spokeswoman for the committee.

A win for the credit industry

Special deal: Consumers would not get a negative credit report if they had an agreement with a lender to delay payments or make partial payments. This was one way to prevent a total ban on negative credit reports during the crisis. The credit reporting industry claimed that a complete ban would have caused great damage to their products.

How you got it: Democrats like Sens. Sherrod Brown from Ohio and Brian Schatz from Hawaii unsuccessfully pushed for the ban, in addition to access to free credit reports and scores. It is not the first win for credit bureaus. During Congress’s last major revision of financial regulations in 2018, the industry overcame the impact of the massive Equifax data breach when it won a language that provided protection against consumer litigation related to a free credit monitoring requirement in the bill.

Student loan tax blessing

Special deal: The final package creates a new tax benefit for borrowers whose employers help them pay off their debts. Under the bill, a company could pay up to $ 5,250 of an employee’s student loan payments tax-free each year.

How you got it: The determination stems from a bipartisan proposal that has spread on Capitol Hill in recent years and most recently has been driven by Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) And Mark Warner (D-Va.), Major employers and university groups. The deputies Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) And Scott Peters (D-Calif.) Have also introduced an accompanying calculation in the house. However, some critics said it would provide financially secure, wealthy borrowers who don’t need the help new tax benefits.

Casinos roll and win

Special deal: The casinos pushed for provisions to ensure that they were not excluded from federal aid. You can apply for portions of the $ 350 billion in small business management loan if you are a small business and need less than $ 10 million. Larger casinos can apply for $ 454 billion in loans supported by the Treasury.

How you got it: Casinos were afraid of being excluded. The industry wanted to ensure that the bill did not contain provisions that would prevent MGM Resorts International, Wynn Resorts, Las Vegas Sands, or other members from receiving the same help as other industries.

Free video visits to the prison

Special deal: Legislation means free videoconferencing and phone calls to inmates during the pandemic if Attorney General Bill Barr agrees.

How you got it: As the pandemic spread across the United States, prisons canceled normal visiting hours and closed facilities for outside visitors. And inmates typically face higher charges than usual when they call people outside the prison area. The Federal Communications Commission and some legislators have attempted to address this issue in the past. Last week, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) Urged the Bureau of Prisons to allow free calls to inmates and videoconferencing during the pandemic, and hailed a victory after the Senate passed the relief measure.

Harbor dredger help

Special deal: The agreement includes a language that will make it easier for Congress to spend money on dredging ports by exempting the Army Corps of Engineers’ funds from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund. The provision is a blessing to ports that need dredging, such as those in Mobile, Ala., The home of Senate President Richard Shelby (R-Ala.).

How you got it: Prominent supporters of the move are Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), Chairman of Shelby and House Transportation and Infrastructure. Shelby has fought the issue repeatedly with his own party. A Republican adjutant called the decision “an easy give to Shelby since he has wanted it for years and why shouldn’t he give it to him?”

Relief for farmers

Special deal: The incentive provides $ 9.5 billion in emergency aid to agriculture and fills the $ 14 billion spending agency to Commodity Credit Corp. Ministry of Agriculture, a depression-era financial institution created to stabilize agriculture – the same USDA agency that sends trade bailout payments to farmers. Eligible are producers who range from dairy farmers and ranchers to producers of fresh fruit and vegetables.

How you got it: Livestock groups have been relying on lawmakers for weeks to raise funds for producers whose commodity prices have fallen since January. Western senators, including John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Chair of the Committee on Budgets, which oversees agricultural spending, made sure from the start that these provisions were part of the recovery plan. Then top Democrats like Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, senior member of the Agriculture Committee, urged that farmers who cultivate language cultures, like Michigan hot cherry growers, be eligible for emergency aid.

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