The favors and deals inside the $2 trillion stimulus

  • 30 March 2020
  • NormanL

The $2 trillion stimulus bill is now law. And is so often the case with enormous pieces of legislation cobbled together in response to a crisis, we're going to spend a lot of time figuring out exactly what's inside.

Of special interest with this bill is who got special favors -- the kinds of goodies that would be tough to pass in normal circumstances. Here's a sample:

Special deal: Tucked in the final bill is language ensuring that the FDA reviews newer and more novel ingredients for over-the-counter sunscreen products in a timely fashion.

How they got it: The shout-out for sunscreen is part of a long-awaited effort to reform the over-the-counter drug industry, added to the rescue bill amid backing from that industry and various health groups. Besides expanding FDA oversight of over-the-counter products, the provision would streamline the process to change safety labels. Legislation has passed the House and Senate in various forms over the past two years. Last year the Senate easily passed a bill in a 91-2 vote.

In addition to the over-the-counter reforms, the final relief package makes some updates to the Sunscreen Innovation Act, a 2014 bill co-sponsored by McConnell and signed into law by former President Barack Obama. In a statement at the time, McConnell lamented the slow review of applications for sunscreen ingredients that could potentially be more effective at protecting skin, adding that the bill will benefit Kentucky workers that manufacture “innovative sunscreen ingredients at facilities” in the state.

Word is already circulating in Cogresss that a fourth stimulus bill is in the works -- this one targeting (supposedly) state and locla governments. We can only imagine the goodies waiting to be tacked-on to that bill.