As millions of Americans continue to feel the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, lawmakers on Capitol Hill remain at an impasse on new relief measures that would aid those Americans struggling to make ends meet during an unprecedented crisis.
With expanded unemployment benefits due to expire and direct stimulus payments now a distant memory, it remains to be seen whether Congress can strike a deal that would potentially deliver trillions of dollars of additional aid to households and businesses in need.
Meanwhile, the fiscal policy-focused Peter G. Peterson Foundation has taken a closer look at the trillions of dollars in relief already committed by the federal government this year—most of it through the $2.2 trillion CARES Act that Congress passed in March.
The bipartisan nonprofit has parsed through the $1.7 billion in federal aid disbursed by the government as of this week to highlight how those funds have been distributed on a state-by-state basis. It includes a breakdown of the total amount of aid received per state; the amount distributed to states through individual relief programs, such as the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Impact Payments (stimulus checks) program; and how much aid each state received on a per-capita basis.
Not surprisingly, the largest states in the union received more in funding than others, with the likes of California, New York, Texas, and Florida leading the way both in total aid received and, in most cases, on a program-by-program basis.
On a per-capita basis, however, things shake out a little differently. The District of Columbia, home to only around 700,000 residents, actually leads the way by that measure. Washington, D.C., has received nearly $5.5 billion in federal relief, which comes out to $7,749 per capita, according to the Peterson Foundation. The state of Vermont—which has even less people than D.C., with a population of 625,000—ranks second, with $7,130 in aid per capita.
Meanwhile, New York—the fourth-most populous state in the nation, with nearly 19.5 million people—actually ranks third in aid received per capita. The Empire State has accepted nearly $133 billion in total federal aid (second behind California’s $231 billion), which comes out to $6,827 per capita. Following New York are the far less populous states of Alaska ($6,794), North Dakota ($6,614), Wyoming ($6,367), and Rhode Island ($6,342).
The Paycheck Protection Program, the federal government’s flagship small business relief program, has comprised by far the largest chunk of the government’s coronavirus aid expenditures; $525 billion has been disbursed through PPP, nearly 80% of the $670 billion authorized for the program. The remainder of those funds, however, will not be handed out, as the government closed PPP to new applications on Aug. 8.
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