back to article $900bn coronavirus stimulus bill includes $600 for most Americans, $50 in monthly internet subsidies, $1.9bn to help rid the US of Huawei kit

Over the weekend, Republican and Democrat lawmakers in the US reached consensus on a new $900bn coronavirus stimulus bill. In addition to $600 direct payments to individuals, support for small businesses, and enhanced unemployment insurance, the package includes $1.9bn earmarked to support rural carriers in removing equipment …

  1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Re : "Not sure how the last bit relates to COVID-19 but there ya go"

    Huawei are from China and make their equipment from bats.

    That's totally not fake news because I saw pictures of it on Twitter. They are a really sad company actually. Really sad.



    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Re : "Not sure how the last bit relates to COVID-19 but there ya go"

      It is well known [*] that coronavirus spreads over 5G, and Huawei's kit is more susceptible to doing that.

      [*] amongst conspiracy theorists, andti-vaxxers, etc.

      1. I sound like Peter Griffin!!

        Re: Re : "Not sure how the last bit relates to COVID-19 but there ya go"

        I mean, if you're only NOW going to deny that viruses (Donald might be thinking computer viruses here) from China CAN arrive in 'merikca via "WhoAreWe" kit then hhhrrmmph, you mmmreaaally need your head examined heh heh heh!

        It's a preemptive strike - a pint for the Donald! Dilly-Dilly!!

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Re : "Not sure how the last bit relates to COVID-19 but there ya go"

          "Donald might be thinking computer viruses here"

          Objection! Assumes ability not in evidence.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Re : "Not sure how the last bit relates to COVID-19 but there ya go"


            A Jake post not about IR35!

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Re : "Not sure how the last bit relates to COVID-19 but there ya go"

              Jake has never posted about IR35. Why do you keep making this claim?

      2. MisterHappy

        Re: Re : "Not sure how the last bit relates to COVID-19 but there ya go"

        Hang on... I thought 5G turned people gay.

  2. Claverhouse Silver badge

    How To Win A Shadow Boxing Match Against Oneself...

    Trump's final hurrah was a doomed attempt to increase the direct payments to $2000 an individual. Since the Democrat House had already watered down the latest package to manageable proportions *, that died in the water.

    With the election over, the Democratic leadership in the space of a few weeks somehow negotiated against themselves, working with Republicans to push the total amount of a Covid-19 relief deal further and further downward, to the point where previous plans offered by the likes of Mitch McConnell and Steve Mnuchin now look like LBJ’s Great Society.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How To Win A Shadow Boxing Match Against Oneself...

      > https://taibbi.subs…

      Not a septic so utterly unconcerned about internal US politics, but that link has dodgy written all over it. And that's without even following it.

      1. TheRealRoland

        Re: How To Win A Shadow Boxing Match Against Oneself...

        Septic is the right word here...

    2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: Bork bork pork

      Since the Democrat House had already watered down the latest package to manageable proportions *

      Not convinced that's true. The package got published and it's 5,500 pages long. Which I guess means few in either side of the House have read all of it. Especially on their iGadgets. Folks in the twattersphere have, however leading to outrage over ordinary Americans getting just enough to buy a PS5. Meanwhile, there's $1.3bn for Egypt, $4bn for US Navy weapons development and.. "$193 million for federal HIV/AIDS workers to buy cars and car insurance overseas". Which I guess means there's either a lot of those aid workers, or they've managed to get funding for Bugattis. Well played..

      So far, so normal for this kind of bundled pork. There's the $600 payout, plus extending welfare & business support, but billions in other stuff thrown in to get the package approved.

      1. quxinot Silver badge

        Re: Bork bork pork

        It's very typical. The payout isn't remotely the largest part of the bill.

        The lawmakers are more interested in their personal projects and view the voting taxpaying public as a nuisance. So use the bill to fund their own agendas while trying to provide exactly enough stimulus to prevent rioting.

        Same thing happened with the prior bill for relief funding, but much of the pork sloughed off. Government in action.

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: Bork bork pork


          Being semi-retired & bored, I poked around a little more and think this is kind of business as usual. So the sort of wrangling & horse trading that's previously lead to government shutdowns for federal agencies when finance bills aren't approved. So there's the covid stuff, but also regular government budget setting.

          Which I guess gets into politics as well, ie Trump's threats to veto & trim some fat and some parts of the media focusing on the covid elements, or highlighting the normal BAU bits. But such is politics.

          And also made me wonder what would happen if say, somehow, someone managed to slip in say $1.2bn to promote Jellied Eel consumption in the US markets. If that slipped through & congress approved the bill, would that be legal, and mean I could move to Florida or Texas and get on with the consuming..

  3. Dimmer


    Really? If you take the total amount given so far, it would equal about $25,000 for every citizen in the US. In most, over $100,000 per household. That would have fix the problem, year off for everyone!

    Our overlords have decided we come last. Please post if you come up with a better number.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: $600

      > it would equal about $25,000 for every citizen in the US.

      Would is the functional word indeed. As you will be aware, wealth distribution is not linear but follows something called a Lorenz curve.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: $600

      The system is broken, you have three options:

      1. Take what they give you.

      2. Lobby for change.

      3. Violent rebellion.

      And don't mistake this as me supporting the Democratic party, both political parties are cut from the same cloth. The Republicans are just more brazen about stealing from the public.

    3. veti Silver badge

      Re: $600

      The CARES act was quoted as $2.2 trillion, this new measure is listed at 0.9 trillion. (Mitt Romney claims the actual cost is less than half of that, as most of the money is repurposed from CARES, not new.)

      Let’s call it $3 trillion, divided by 300 million Americans. That works out around $10,000 each.

      What the article doesn’t mention is that the $600 is the allowance for everyone who earns less than $75000. If you’re unemployed, the benefit is a rather more substantial $300 per week.

      It’s been a peculiarity of the Republicans that they persist in seeing the pandemic as, essentially, an economic crisis rather than anything to do with health. Hence the use of words like “stimulus”, rather than “relief”, and the focus on general handouts rather than supporting people who actually need it. But it’s been obvious for more than six months now that the only realistic way to revive the economy is to get the pandemic under control. Until then, relief is the best you can hope for.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    $600 is ridiculous!

    The only way to help people is to give huge amounts of cash to large businesses so that the trickle down effect can provide money to individuals.

    Anything else is clearly communism and that absolutely MUST be avoided.

    Please note: as some businesses maybe unable to rapidly increase the size of their "cups" in the trickle down process, we will break up the stimulus into multiple packages to allow them to upgrade their cups and ensure the maximum capacity.

    1. ghp

      Re: Communism!!!!

      "huge amounts of cash to large businesses"

      If HuffPost is right, the stimulus bill does take care of that, as well as eg. 100% tax deduction for 3-martini meals, something the well-to-do were in dire need of.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Communism!!!!

        And once "Space Force" is up and running and protecting Americans from the $16bn funding it recieved, a few people dying of the Rona or starvation will be forgotten about.

        hats when those 3-martini meals will really be needed.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Communism!!!!

      > maybe unable to rapidly increase the size of their "cups"

      For info, I downvoted your post not because I didn't get the sarcasm but because it was crap sarcasm.

      With that said, what you mention actually did happen in the EU. A few months ago Spain were angrily complaining about our "lack of solidarity" at being offered loans rather than grants. Eventually they got it their way and then they couldn't find what to spend the money on.

      Note: not an anti-EU post per se.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Communism!!!!

        The irony that you thought this was sarcasm.

        This is directed at the US (as the article is) - two "stimulus bills" which total $4.4-4.8 trillion dollars of which indivduals that meet the criteria are entitled to up to $1800 per person or 10% of the overall package and the second part has been delayed multiple times.

        Meanwhile, the average arrears for unpaid rent for the 30 million or so unemployed due to coronavirus sits at around $5000.

  5. trist

    Money well spent....

    That Huawei virus needs a lot more $$$ to eradicate.

    The most annoying aspect of the Huawei and China "problem" is that in the 80s and 90s and 00s when there were flagrant violations of IP, oppressive contracts requiring technology "transfers" (aka. show us how you do it so that we can rip you off) , nothing was done. I guess this is what happens when you don't act quickly enough to crush a rampaging destructive virus.

    1. J27 Silver badge

      Re: Money well spent....

      No, it just requires draconian measures the western powers don't have the stomach to implement. Real lockdowns, enforced by military. They worked in China, but the people of the western powers have decided they'd rather ride this out and let thousands of poor people die so they can keep banging that "freedom" drum. Is it freedom or free dumb? Time will tell I guess.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Money well spent....

        Controlling the number of people allowed in railway termini is not a "draconian measure". That they didn't strongly indicates they haven't got a clue how people respond to government announcements, they have no idea about planning, or they just don't care about the people they are paid to protect. Similar to if you're trying to make shop shelves empty rapidly, tell them: "don't panic buy".

        Oh, and the virus doesn't discriminate by wealth, or lack of - it's more based on social / anti-social tendencies.

  6. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    So, err... where's the money for this coming from?

    Will they borrow it from China, or Russia?

    1. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

      Re: So, err... where's the money for this coming from?

      Nah, we will just print it!

  7. File Not Found

    Outraged of Suffolk

    That should be ‘..two million subscribers or FEWER..’, of course. This poor grammar thing is spreading like a disease.

    1. Excellentsword (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Outraged of Suffolk

      Jeez, OK Stannis Baratheon.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: Outraged of Suffolk

      An ellipses is three dots, not two.

      The Kings English (1906) states unequivocally that double quotes should be used in a first level of quotation.

      Convention and experience indicates that so-called smart quotes are only used by twats (and the odd Mac user) in text-only fora.

      This poor punctuation thing is spreading like a disease.

      1. dak

        Re: Outraged of Suffolk

        Is there not an apostrophe in King's?

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Outraged of Suffolk

          Muphry was an orthographist.

          If you have to explain the ... ah, forget it.

  8. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    The problem is the solution

    Maybe somebody with access to a hacked SolarWinds system can get to the real reason for the US banning Chinese equipment but being BFF with Russia.

    Or maybe we'll find out once the orange puppet can't dance as well as the puppet-master wants.

  9. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "News of this funding will be welcomed by the myriad smaller wireless carriers"

    What makes them think that they'll be getting any of that ? Ajit Pai is going to make sure that the BIG carriers get the lion's share of that money.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Go Citizen's United!

    Good example of how ever since Citizens United, congress doe not consider anything unless it includes direct payments to corporations.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Please, ANYONE: help with critical details---

    "...the package also includes...a $50 monthly subsidy to cover the cost of an internet subscription and device..."

    Please provide details, or information on to how and where to get details.

    1. TheRealRoland

      Re: Please, ANYONE: help with critical details---

      Apparently it's a 4000+ page document, signed on by people who haven't read it, so nobody knows exactly what's in here. Also, this bill hasn't been signed by the president yet, so nothing that people are talking about is real yet.

      1. gratou

        Re: Please, ANYONE: help with critical details---

        I'm sure many people know the contents. Those who wrote it and those who told them what to write.

  12. fidodogbreath Silver badge

    Risky business

    the latest in a series of measures designed to wean rural carriers off so-called "high-risk" kit

    Like SolarWinds?

  13. That 8 Bit Guy

    Decisions, decisions

    Last time it was a nice new UHD TV I got free from the government.

    I wished they would make their mind up as it will be the difference between the RTX 3060 or the RTX 3090, and the suspense is killing me (they will be in stock when the money gets here).

  14. Danny 2 Silver badge

    Pardon me / Pardon you

    I've been emailing Trump with requests for pre-emptive pardons in the hope he's just pardoning wildly. I requested a pardon for CozyBears, El Reg, Boris Johnson, Bill Gates and Stormy Daniels.

    Since he's also being all presidential rushing through death penalties I nominated Prince Andrew and my evil sister.

    1. gratou

      Re: Pardon me / Pardon you

      You put BJ on the wrong list

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Pardon me / Pardon you

        And El Reg doesn't care about an easy to get Presidential pardon. They are more likely to shoot for the impossible and aim for an Apple pardon.

  15. Jonjonz

    The most significant thing about this bill is that most people let it just whoosh right by them, because $600 per person is way more attractive to think about than the facts, which are the payments to individuals is less than 1 tenth of the total spending of the bill, i.e. 90% of it is destined for corporate welfare recipients.

    1. jake Silver badge

      It's worse than that .... a good deal of the money destined for Covid-thisNthat is rolled over from the last go-around. Only a small percentage of the total destined for Covid relief is going to be a new batch of money injected into the system.

  16. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    $1.9 billion

    The $1.9 billion of course doesn't have anything to do with Coronavirus... but, the funding was "needed" (well, needed if you insist on rip and replacing Huawei and ZTE hardware.)

    This whole thing is really a Nutjob Trump-style clusterfuck... the FCC began pushing on the wireless internet providers (these are not cell phone companies selling hotspot plans, these are the ones that in days of yore would have been running a Motorola Canopy system or the like.. a few maybe still do) to upgrade their speeds since so many people were at home and needed better connectivity; the wireless internet providers by then were largely using newer site equipment and CPE (customer premises equipment) from... you guessed it... Huawei and ZTE. These are software defined radio systems, just like the newer cell phone tower hardware, so they planned to get software updates from Huawei and ZTE to roughly double the speed & capacity of these systems using 5G-like technologies; but, when it was made clear their gear was not welcome in the US, Huawei and ZTE cut off all support and software updates. In the vague Trump-like manner, the administration vaguely implied if these wireless ISPs took out loans or whatever to rip and replace right away, that they would be at least partially reimbursed out of that $1 billion later... well, that's not how it was set up, it was set up to apply for money THEN rip and replace... so the wireless ISPs that ripped and replaced when they were supposed to were completely screwed over. I suppose this $1.9 billion is (maybe.. but again, Trumps still in office so who knows) to give them what they were promised.

    I won't place blame on the FCC for this one... in the US, you've got the "big 3" cellular companies (AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, who just bought Sprint) and in many areas an additional local carrier; none of the big 3 (formerly 4) used ANY Huawei/ZTE hardware, a few of the local carriers did. And Wireless ISPS would be the ONLY other thing using them, and apparently many used them heavily... so somehow, the administration was incompetent enough to focus 100% on local cell companies and totally ignore the situation with the wireless ISPs, and not coordinate anything whatsoever with the FCC.

  17. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Our state made good use of that!

    Our fine state of Iowa made fine use of the Covid relief funds they received! They spend it on non-Covid-related IT spending. Not even good spending, they blew it on some vague cloud services contract for possible future use. Not even under the table, the governor basically bragged about how clever they were to figure out a way to divert the funds.

    edit: Oof, didn't realize this article was almost a week old! Oh well.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021