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The fine print in corporate-friendly coronavirus bill passed by Senate could benefit Trump and Kushner — here's how

The fine print in corporate-friendly coronavirus bill passed by Senate could benefit Trump and Kushner — here's how
President Donald Trump speaks with Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner following the G20 Women’s Empowerment Event in Osaka, Japan. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

The Senate unanimously approved a corporate-friendly $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill on Wednesday that also provides loans to small businesses and direct payments to the American public.

And provisions in the fine print of the 880-page emergency relief bill aimed at easing the economic havoc sparked by the coronavirus pandemic could also directly benefit the businesses of President Donald Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

The Senate voted 96-0 to approve the legislation, which is the largest rescue package in history, as the death toll from the new coronavirus surpassed 1,000 in the U.S. The bill includes $290 billion for direct payments to most Americans, $260 billion for expanded unemployment insurance, $500 billion in loans for airlines and large corporations, $367 billion for small business loans, $100 billion for hospitals and $150 billion for state and local governments. The House is expected to vote Friday on the legislation.

Though Senate Democrats carving out a provision to ensure that Trump, government officials and their families do not dip into the corporate bailout fund, the massive bill swelled during negotiations with benefits for special interests, according to The New York Times.

And the provision Democrats included to block government officials and their families from getting bailout funds might not apply to Kushner, The Times reported. It only applies to individuals who "directly or indirectly" control 20% or more of a company, and since the president's son-in-law typically shares ownership with his parents and siblings, he rarely owns that much of his family's businesses.

Also tucked away in the fine print was a provision that would allow a company with multiple hotels to qualify as a small business, even if it has more than 500 employees. Though the provision excludes large brands like Marriott and Hilton, it could reportedly benefit the Trump Organization's small six-hotel chain in the U.S. Several of the company's hotels are members of a trade group, which heavily lobbied for the provision.

The bill also includes a long-sought tax break for restaurants, which will allow them to get an immediate tax refund rather than a deduction over 37 years when they spend money on renovations. The Trump Organization owns a number of restaurants at its properties.

The provisions could allow Trump's companies to get tax breaks and loans for small businesses that would be forgiven if they continue to pay employees, though several of the president's hotels have already laid off hundreds of employees.

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