Senate Passes $2 Trillion Coronavirus Stimulus Package
Senate passed a $2 trillion fiscal stimulus package intended to provide economic relief during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The Republican-majority Senate unanimously approved the measure with all 96 members present voting in favor late Wednesday. The Bill is expected to pass through the House on Friday, and President Donald Trump said he won’t delay signing the fast-tracked bill once it passes the Congress.
Speaking ahead of the final vote, which was delayed by a dispute between Republican and Democratic senators over unemployment benefits, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “Our nation is obviously going through a kind of crisis that is totally unprecedented in living memory”.
He described the bill as a “war-time level of investment” in the country, providing financial assistance to individuals and companies.
The massive bill includes $250 billion in direct payments to individuals and families, $350 billion in small business loans, $250 billion in unemployment insurance benefits and $500 billion in loans for distressed companies.
The legislation will provide direct payments of $1,200 to individuals making up to $75,000 a year, $2,400 to couples making up to $150,000 and an additional $500 per child.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said the bill includes “unemployment compensation on steroids,” expanding eligibility to self-employed workers and increasing the maximum benefit by $600 a week for four months.
The Bill would provide increased oversight of a proposed $500 billion corporate bailout fund, which had been a key sticking point among Democrats.
It also reportedly includes $130 billion in funding for hospitals as well as $150 billion for state and local governments.
The coronavirus disaster aid bill, the largest economic stimulus in U.S. history, comes at a time various government agencies are attempting to contain the COVID-19 outbreak as schools, businesses and public events in the country are closed or canceled.
COVID-19 death toll in the United States has crossed 1000, and more than 70,000 people have been infected with the virus.
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