The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, is a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus bill passed by the 116th U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27, 2020 in response to the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. The spending primarily includes $300 billion in one-time cash payments to individual Americans, $260 billion in increased unemployment benefits, the creation of the Paycheck Protection Program that provides forgivable loans to small businesses with an initial $350 billion in funding (later increased to $669 billion by subsequent legislation), $500 billion in aid for large corporations, and $339.8 billion to state and local governments.The original CARES Act proposal included $500 billion in direct payments to Americans, $208 billion in loans to major industry, and $300 billion in Small Business Administration loans. As a result of bipartisan negotiations, the bill grew to $2 trillion in the version unanimously passed by the Senate on March 25, 2020. It was passed by the House via voice vote the next day, and was signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27. It was originally introduced in the United States Congress on January 24, 2019 as H.R. 748 (Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act of 2019). To comply with the Origination Clause of the Constitution, the Senate then used H.R. 748 as a shell bill for the CARES Act, changing the content of the bill and renaming it before passing it.Unprecedented in size and scope, the legislation is the largest economic stimulus package in U.S. history, amounting to 10% of total U.S. gross domestic product. The bill is larger than the $831 billion stimulus act passed in 2009 as part of the response to the Great Recession. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that it will add $1.8 trillion to the deficits over the 2020–2030 period, with nearly all the impact in 2020 and 2021.Lawmakers refer to the bill as "Phase 3" of Congress's coronavirus response. The first phase "was an $8.3 billion bill spurring coronavirus vaccine research and development" (the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020), which was enacted on March 6, 2020. The second phase was "an approximately $104 billion package largely focused on paid sick leave and unemployment benefits for workers and families" (the Families First Coronavirus Response Act), which was enacted on March 18, 2020.
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