Trump Pushes Historic Stimulus Bill Through, Americans to Get Payments Up to $3,000
President & Republicans finally get much-needed coronavirus relief bill through Senate
Early on Wednesday, President Donald Trump's administration was finally able to agree to a historic multi-trillion-dollar coronavirus stimulus bill with the Senate to provide much-needed relief to Americans.
The roughly $2 trillion measure that will send direct payments to individuals, state governments, and businesses hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
While details of the measures are still being finalized, the legislation is expected to be enacted within days.
The massive bill will be the largest fiscal stimulus package in U.S. history.
The measure includes direct payments of up to $3,000 to millions of U.S. families, expanded unemployment aid, billions for hospitals and health systems, a massive infusion of aid, including loan programs for hard-hit industries and small businesses.
While the full details have yet to be released, the basic structure appears similar to the deal Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and his caucus have been battling to get past Democrats for days.
According to the Washington Post, Republicans did make one concession to Democrats on Tuesday, agreeing to an independent inspector general and oversight board for a $500 billion loan package to businesses and local government.
Funding was also increased to hospitals, The Pluralist reported.
Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio said small business assistance has increased to $367 billion and now includes a six-month delay on loan payments.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has said the bill will contain “unemployment insurance on steroids.”
The strain of the fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak accelerated across the United States on Wednesday beyond the hot spots of New York, California, and Washington state as Louisiana and Iowa were declared federal disaster areas.
Trump issued the disaster declarations late Tuesday night, freeing up federal funds to help combat the potentially lethal disease as it strains state and local resources nationwide.
Louisiana, where large crowds recently celebrated Mardi Gras in New Orleans and other parishes, has reported a spike in cases with 1,388 total confirmed cases and 46 deaths as of midday Tuesday, according to the Louisiana Department of Health.
“I have determined that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of state and local governments,” the state’s governor wrote the White House this week in seeking the declaration.
Iowa, where officials announced the state’s first death from the coronavirus Tuesday night, has reported 124 confirmed cases.
Nationwide, COVID-19 has infected more than 53,000 people and killed at least 720 with World Health Organization officials warning the United States could become the global epicenter of the pandemic, which broke out late last year in Wuhan, China.
In recent days, the governors of at least 18 states have issued stay-at-home directives affecting about half the nation’s population.
The sweeping orders are aimed at slowing the Chinese virus’s spread but have upended daily life as schools and businesses shutter indefinitely.
Trump on Tuesday initially said he wanted to re-open the country by Easter Sunday, but later told reporters he would listen to recommendations from the nation’s top health officials.
The closures have shocked the U.S. economy with global markets rattled by the pandemic.
U.S. stock index futures initially rose on Wednesday before falling, with investors weighing forthcoming economic relief from the stimulus package.