The White House and Senate leaders have finally agreed to a sweeping $2T stimulus package for the U.S. economy as the country grapples with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
“At last, we have a deal. After days of intense discussions, the Senate has reached a bipartisan agreement on a historic relief package for this pandemic,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor early Wednesday morning.
“It will rush new resources onto the front lines of our nation’s health care fight. And it will inject trillions of dollars of cash into the economy as fast as possible to help Americans workers, families, small businesses and industries make it through this disruption and emerge on the other side ready to soar.”
The precise details of the fiscal package are yet to be disclosed, though it is expected to include around $350B in small business loans and a further $500B for distressed companies, such as airlines. Hospitals are also expected to get a cash injection of $75B to help them manage a rush of coronavirus-stricken patients. Some $250B has been set aside for direct payments to Americans.
The deal was done after five days of talks, with Democrats pushing for more safeguards for American workers alongside some of the corporate measures. The value of the bailout is likely to eclipse both the 2008 bank bailout and Barack Obama’s 2009 recovery act.
There are at least 52,976 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. Some 704 people have died of the disease.
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