USA senators make progress toward voting on $2 trillion coronavirus bill

Yolanda Curtis
March 26, 2020

Mnuchin had shuttled between the Capitol offices of the Senate's leaders as they and staffers hammered out the language of the bill.

The Senate stands adjourned until April 20 now that the package has passed out of their chamber. Mr.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California said he wants to make sure the U.S. House of Representatives reviews the legislation, but doesn't slow it down and moves it to Trump's desk "as soon as possible".

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of NY said there's no way to know when the "plague" will end in the U.S.

$150 billion to state and local governments to address spending shortages related to the coronavirus pandemic. It also has more than $350 billion to aid small businesses.

With infections rising, the injection for hospitals could be the bill's most effective element in fighting the pandemic, as it will help facilities provide protective gear, intensive care beds and ventilators and other medical equipment.

The package also provides up to $250 billion in expanded unemployment benefits, meant to help replace the salaries of furloughed workers for up to four months. He said it would bolster the unemployment insurance system so states can match the missing salary of low-income workers, and give others enough to "be able to put food on the table, maybe make the rent, maybe make the vehicle payment during this period". The Republicans had to make concessions regarding that fund after the Democrats criticised it for lack of oversight.

The package provides for about US$500 billion in loans and assistance for big companies, including struggling airlines, as well as states and cities. The treasury and lawmakers will have to disclose who receives these loans in real-time and an inspector general for pandemic recovery will be appointed to oversee the distribution of funds and other elements.

Interestingly, the bill has provisions that would block Trump and his family members, as well as other top government officials and members of Congress, from accessing loans or investments from Treasury programmes in the stimulus package.

The benchmark indices had soared almost 7 per cent on Wednesday as India began a 21-day countrywide lockdown to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus pandemic and on expectations that the government would unveil a stimulus package soon to cushion the economy from the economic fall-out of Covid-19. The money at stake amounts to almost half of the $4.7 trillion the USA government spends annually.

"That is a drop in the bucket as to need", Cuomo said, explaining NY is facing a revenue shortfall of up to $15 billion while swiping the coronavirus package as offering "quote-unquote relief". It will also raise the maximum unemployment insurance benefit by $600 per week.

Democrats also rejected the $3 billion sought by the Trump administration to buy oil to fill the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Senate leaders hope to vote on the plan later on Wednesday in Washington, but it still faces criticism. It also seems like companies getting bailouts have no requirements on executive compensation or keeping workers hired.

Senate passage delivered the legislation to the Democratic-controlled House, which will most likely pass it Friday.

Together with Fed intervention, the proposed legislation amounted to a $6 trillion stimulus, according to White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow, or about 30 per cent of annual GDP.

US President Donald Trump and the Senate have agreed to a massive economic relief package worth more than US $1.8 trillion.

Lawmakers universally expressed a sense of urgency as the nation's economy deteriorates and the health outlook grows more dire.

Wall Street stocks closed mixed as the markets awaited a vote on the $2 trillion package hammered out by congressional leaders to boost the United States economy.

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