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US Senate and White House reach agreement on $2 trillion Covid-19 rescue package

The deal will see a sweep of new measures to provide Americans with healthcare and business supports.

US Capitol Hill building where the Senate sits.
US Capitol Hill building where the Senate sits.
Image: Shutterstock/Golden Brown

THE SENATE AND and White House have reached a deal on a $2 trillion (€1.85 trillion) stimulus package for the US economy and the millions of Americans impacted by the coronavirus crisis, the top Republican lawmaker said this morning.

“At last, we have a deal,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, citing the massive “wartime level of investment into our nation”. 

The Senate and House of Representatives still need to pass the legislation before sending it to President Donald Trump for his signature.

The deal will see a suite of new measures to support Americans with healthcare and business supports as the number of confirmed Covid-19 continues to rise at a rapid pace. 

The World Health Organisation has suggested the US will become the epicentre of the global pandemic soon as cases reached over 45,000 this week with more than 500 deaths. 

US lawmakers worked deep into Tuesday night trying to seal a deal that buttresses the teetering economy by giving roughly $2 trillion to hospitals, businesses and ordinary Americans buckling under the strain of the coronavirus pandemic.

The historically large measure aims to put cash directly into the hands of Americans hard hit by the crisis, inject billions of dollars into hospitals desperate for medical equipment, provide grants to small businesses and loans for larger corporations, and expand unemployment benefits.

After days of vicious partisan infighting over what to include, in what ultimately may be the largest emergency rescue package lawmakers have ever passed, optimism remained that the package could still pass.

In the last number of hours, negotiators have come to an agreement after a dramatic rally by Wall Street on anticipation of the stimulus package.

- © AFP 2020

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