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White House & Senate Reach Deal on $2 Trillion Coronavirus Aid Package

In what is considered a lifeline to businesses, individuals and families, the US Senate and White House have agreed on a $2-trillion coronavirus aid early Wednesday morning.

At press-time, the deal, which is considered the largest economic aid bill in the nation’s history, still needs to be voted on by the Senate and House. The Senate is expected to vote on it today, while the House is expected to vote on it tomorrow, according to a Politico report. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said President Trump will sign the legislation if it passes.

Details of the aid package released during marathon negotiations include:

  • $350 billion in small business loans
  • $250 billion in unemployment insurance benefits
  • $500 billion in loans for distressed companies
  • $250 billion for direct payments to individuals and families
  • $130 billion for hard-hit hospitals
  • $150 billion for state and local governments
  • $50 billion in loans for the airline industry

The money for small businesses is intended to help companies make payroll while their employees are forced to remain at home. The bill also calls for the Small Business Administration to serve as guarantor for loans to ensure debts are paid and payrolls are maintained.

Negotiated aid to families and individuals is as follows: Individuals earning $75,000 or less in adjusted gross income would receive $1,200; married couples earning up to $150,000 would receive $2,400. Families would also receive $500 per child. The payments in this category will be reduced based on income, phasing out at $99,000 for individuals and $198,000 for couple without children.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell formally announced the deal on the Senate floor in the early morning hours, saying, “After days of intense discussions, the Senate has reached a bipartisan agreement on a historic relief package for this pandemic.”

Minority Leader Chuck Schumer named the deal “the largest rescue package in American history. This is not a moment of celebration, but of necessity.”

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