Thursday, 01 October, 2020

White House & Senate Leaders Strike Deal On Historic $2 Trillion Coronavirus Bailout

The US Senate is the focus of negoations on a massive coronavirus economic support package The US Senate is the focus of negoations on a massive coronavirus economic support package More
Ginger Lawrence | 25 March, 2020, 21:14

After a marathon negotiating session, the Trump White House and Senate Republicans struck a deal with Congressional Democrats just after midnight Wednesday on a $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, the most expensive piece of legislation in USA history. The legislation covers an array of programs, including direct payments to Americans, an aggressive expansion of unemployment insurance, billions in aid to large and small businesses, and a new wave of significant funding for the health care industry.

Tensions flared earlier in the week as the White House and Republican leadership fell short of their goal to have a bill on the president's desk by Monday.

The compromise bill directs around $2 trillion to help keep the economy afloat amid the massive shutdown of businesses in a bid to curb the financial fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

Following the deal's announcement, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who had blasted congressional Democrats on Sunday for backing out of the bipartisan deal at the last minute, stated, "Democrats are finally taking "Yes" for an answer".

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said the unemployment insurance benefits it provides would "match the average paycheck of laid-off or furloughed workers", and the bill would provide "billions in emergency education funding" and eliminate the income tax on student loan repayment assistance by employers.

The US agreed on legislation to help businesses, workers and the health care system amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

- The bill includes $150 billion in help for state and local governments "who are so hard pressed because of all the new expenses", Schumer said Tuesday.

The size of the stimulus package has grown over the past week, from the $850 billion that the Trump administration reportedly first asked for, to the current $2 trillion.

That includes struggling US airlines, which will be eligible to receive federal loans, as well as direct cash assistance if they are willing to give an option for an ownership stake to the government.

New Yorkers fleeing coronavirus hotspot need to self-isolate, White House says
Mr Pence said the federal government was "surging resources" to the NY area, including 4,000 ventilators in the next 24 hours. Big Apple residents were nearly ten times more likely to be infected than any other Americans, noted Dr.

The package will also include a lot of transparency for these loans and bailouts.

Citing aides close the discussion, the Wall Street Journal reported that lawmakers had discussed sending one-time checks worth $1,200 to Americans - and an additional $500 to children - with the assistance phasing out for individuals making more than $75,000 and married couples making more than $150,000.

Here are several highlights in the package, provided by Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY.

Those companies will also have to limit executive bonuses.

As the Senate was racing to complete the package, the House gaveled in for a pro forma session on Wednesday morning and gaveled out less than three minutes later. It also has more than $350 billion to aid small businesses.

The S&P 500 Index rose after fluctuating between gains and losses early in the the trading day, following Tuesday's 9.4 per cent surge in anticipation of the deal between the White House and Congress. Congress can pass legislation by unanimous consent if no lawmaker objects.

Democrats rejected the original package, arguing that it put corporations ahead of workers, including health professionals on the front lines of the battle against a pandemic that has infected 55,000 and killed almost 800 in the USA alone.

Hospitals and health systems across the country are expected to get $130 billion in emergency grants, while billions more would be spent on medical and personal protective equipment.