The Trump administration and Senate leaders reached a historic agreement on a massive $2 trillion relief package for workers and businesses hit by the CCP Virus in the wee hours of Wednesday, March 25.
“We are done. We have a deal,” White House Director of Legislative Affairs Eric Ueland announced the agreement as he left the office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Fox News reported.
“Much of the work on bill text has been completed, and I’m hopeful over the next few hours we’ll finish what’s left and we will circulate it early in the morning,” Ueland told reporters.
The unprecedented package would be larger than the 2008 bank bailout and 2009 recovery act combined, becoming the largest economic rescue measure in U.S. history.
The package would give direct payments to most Americans, expand unemployment benefits and provide a $367 billion program for small businesses to keep making payroll while workers are forced to stay home.
One of the last issues to close concerned $500 billion for guaranteed, subsidized loans to larger industries. Hospitals would get significant help as well.
The Senate leaders of both parties also announced the deal early on Wednesday.
“At last, we have a deal,” McConnell wrote in a tweet. “After days of intense discussions, the Senate has reached a bipartisan agreement on a historic relief package for this pandemic. We’re going to pass this legislation later today.”
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.
We’re going to pass this legislation later today.
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) March 25, 2020
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) also tweeted, “We have a bipartisan agreement to address this public health and economic crisis,” but said, “It is not a moment of celebration but one of necessity.”
We have a bipartisan agreement to address this public health and economic crisis
It is not a moment of celebration but one of necessity
We fought to send much-needed resources to fight coronavirus and to put people and workers first
The agreement now reflects those priorities pic.twitter.com/yORkeCoMsl
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) March 25, 2020
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters that the deal “is going to be very important to help American workers, American business, and people across America. So, we couldn’t be more pleased. I’ve spoken to the president, many times today, and he’s very pleased with this legislation, and the impact that this is going to have.”
The deal came after President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he wants the U.S. economy to reopen by Easter, which is likely to ignite a fierce debate on Capitol Hill.
The CCP Virus pandemic has now killed more than 800 people and the United States and infected more than 55,000 others, making the country the third-highest national total behind Italy and China.