Just nine weeks after Congress allocated more than $1 trillion in coronavirus stimulus funds, most of this direct cash assistance has dried up.
The Cares Act that passed on March 27 set up multiple stimulus funds to help people with coronavirus related issues. Here’s a roundup of the ones that make up the majority of the $1.6 trillion in direct cash assistance.
The controversial Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), criticized for not doling out enough help to truly small businesses, has distributed 77% of its $660 billion, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The Economic Impact Payment (EIP) program providing those stimulus checks, direct deposits, or debit cards many of us have received is pretty tapped out too. The U.S. Treasury Department says 88% of the $293 billion in that fund has been sent out.
Meanwhile the U.S. Treasury also said it has distributed 96% of the Coronavirus Relief Fund. Congress set aside $150 billion to help governments in states, territories, and tribal areas to cover coronavirus expenses.
Then there’s the $600 per week supplemental unemployment benefit, known as Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC). The feds allocated $176 billion to the states but the states have only shelled out half of that – according to the bi-partisan, non-profit Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. The Connecticut Department of Labor says it has disbursed $1.33 billion of that federal unemployment aid.
One of the most untapped funds is the Provider Relief Fund. It supports American families, workers, and health care providers in the battle against the novel coronavirus outbreak. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says just 28% of the $175 billion has been shared.
There are still trillions of dollars worth other funds set up by Congress, the Federal Reserve, and the Executive Branch, but they're mostly loans. That is one reason why some are advocating yet another stimulus package of direct payments to help people out, and keep the economy going.