Senate and White House Reach Agreement on $2 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Bill

Senate White House reach deal on $2 trillion stimulus package to lessen COVID-19’s economic impact		
		
	Catherine Shu

			@catherineshu	 
		7 hours

Senate White House reach deal on $2 trillion stimulus package to lessen COVID-19’s economic impact Catherine Shu @catherineshu 7 hours

That part was easier said than done.

As Wednesday wore on, it became increasingly clear that the historic measure, born out of a pandemic and meant to stave off an economic crisis, was not immune to partisan wrangling as its promised quick passage was imperiled by a swirl of last-minute drama.

"The House will convene at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, March 27, 2020 to consider the bill.we expect the bill to pass by voice vote on Friday", House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer's office stated. Unemployment insurance is also being increased, while payments on federally-held student loans are being temporarily suspended. The Senate will vote on the Republicans' amendment to change the provision - a vote that likely will fail, Graham said, allowing a vote on passage of the legislation as written.

Direct payments of $1,200 are expected for individuals making $75,000 per year or less, based on income tax returns from 2019 or 2018. Mr Trump had urged Congress to act "without delay" and said he would sign the legislation immediately. "This is certainly in terms of dollars far and away the biggest [legislation] ever done", he said.

The measure drew criticism from some liberal groups and Governor Andrew Cuomo of hard-hit NY, who said it was barely "a drop in the bucket".

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said Democrats who control the House of Representatives will review the package.

Sanders also accused the Republicans of backing corporations over workers, highlighting their support for President Donald Trump's 2017 tax plan.

Newsweek reached out to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for comment but did not receive responses in time for publication.

'To all Americans I say: Help is on the way, big help and quick help, ' said Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer late Tuesday night.

The massive package also includes $100 billion in assistance for hospitals and health systems across the nation.

The plan includes about $500 billion that can be used to back loans and assistance to companies, including $50 billion for loans to US airlines, as well as state and local governments. Those loans would be forgiven for businesses that keep their employees on the payroll.

"Why would the senators hold up this really important bill. because they resent people at the low end of the spectrum who have lost their jobs, from getting $600?"

Business owners in MA said that money couldn't come soon enough.

Graham is one of a handful of Republican senators who raised objections to an unemployment compensation provision in the bill.

Schumer also said that hundreds of billions would be spent on Democratic priorities, including the expansion of unemployment benefits, money for hospitals as well as more funding for cities and transportation. Democrats pushed for part-time, self-employed, and "gig economy" workers - who are traditionally excluded from collecting unemployment insurance - to access the expanded benefits, which would include an extra $600 per week for every worker for an additional 13 weeks.

Several Republican senators had insisted the bill needed to be changed to ensure that laid-off workers would not be paid more in unemployment benefits than they earned on the job. Graham said. "The Kennedy center may be an incredible place to go, I'm sure it is".

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