US Senate Passes $ 2 Trillion Coronavirus Rescue Bill
The United States Senate overwhelmingly approved a $2 trillion economic rescue bill on Wednesday to help lift the economy and address the coronavirus pandemic.
The Senate vote ratifies a political agreement between leading Senate Democrats, Republicans and the White House and sets the stage for final passage likely later this week.
The legislation is now under review in the US House of Representatives. If passed, it will be the largest rescue package ever approved by Congress. The president said he would sign the bill as soon as it reaches his desk.
The legislative package includes:
$500bn for a Treasury Department lending facility to support US companies, including airlines, with public oversight
$350bn for small businesses. Current small business loans will be forgiven. Grants will be available to keep employees on payroll for eight weeks
$100bn for hospitals, nurses and doctors to battle the outbreak$150bn for state and local governments
$300bn in direct payments to most Americans of up to $1,200 per adult and $500 per child within about three weeks. A typical family of four would get $3,400. Individuals making more than $100,000 a year (households making more than $150,000) would not be eligible
$250bn in federal unemployment benefits of $600 per week for individual employees as well as gig workers and independent contractors in addition to regular state unemployment benefits available for up to four months
The enormous size of the emergency spending equals roughly 40 percent of the entire $4.6 trillion annual budget of the US government or about 10 percent of the total annual output of the $21-trillion US economy.
Earlier today, virus deaths toll in US crosses 1000 mark. About 1030 person have been died by the noval coronavirus in US, with 68,572 confirmed cases nationwide, a tracker run by the Johns Hopkins University showed.
The United States has the third highest number of confirmed cases behind China and Italy, and the US death rate is now 1.5 percent, based on reported cases.
The virus has killed more than 21,000 people around the world after it was first identified in central China in late December.