Senate approves historic $2 trillion stimulus deal amid growing coronavirus fears


The Senate on Wednesday approved a $2 trillion stimulus package to provide a spark to an economy reeling from the novel coronavirus pandemic. The historic measure was filled with days of intense negotiations that amounted to one of the most expensive and far-reaching measures Congress has ever considered.

The legislation was a remarkable sign of overwhelming bipartisan support, the vote was unanimous at 96-0.

The stimulus represents the largest emergency aid package in US history. The financial aid was the most significant legislative initiative taken to address the increasingly intensifying coronavirus crisis. The novel covid-19 is burdening hospitals and grinding much of the economy to a standstill.

President Donald Trump has indicated he will sign the legislation and tweeted his congratulations after it cleared the Senate.

The Legislative summary of the final deal was released Wednesday evening ahead of a final vote. Several main elements of the proposal are $250 billion set aside for direct payments to individuals and families, $350 billion in small business loans, $250 billion in unemployment insurance benefits and $500 billion in loans for companies who may be facing financial distress.

The financial assistance will deliver an enormous influx of economic aid into a struggling economy hard hit by job loss. The bill includes provisions to help impacted American workers and families as well as small businesses and major industries including airlines.

Included in the plan are individuals who earn $75,000 in adjusted gross income or less would get direct payments of $1,200 each, with married couples earning up to $150,000 receiving $2,400, and an additional $500 per each child. The amount of payment would scale down by income, phasing out entirely at $99,000 for singles and $198,000 for couples without children.

Also, the legislation would provide a major amount of funding for hard-hit hospitals — $130 billion — as well as $150 billion for state and local governments that are cash-strapped due to their response to coronavirus.