US senators and the Trump administration have finally reached an agreement on a massive rescue plan to help stem the impact Covid-19 is having on the country’s economy.
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.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer called the proposal “the largest rescue package in American history.”
Schumer said that the bill is “far from perfect, but we believe the legislation has been improved significantly to warrant its quick consideration and passage.”
Schumer’s main rival in the Senate, Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, was also optimistic about the deal, hailing it as “a bipartisan agreement.” He promised that the Senate will approve the legislation later on Wednesday.
According to the revised bill, $130bn will go to hospitals, and $367bn will be used to rescue small businesses. Americans making up to $75,000 a year will receive a one-time check of $1,200 to help them cope with the loss of jobs during the pandemic.
The agreement was announced by McConnell at 1:30am following several days of intense debate with the Democrats, who argued that the initial Republican proposal was skewed too much in favor of protecting big companies instead of helping workers.
During the debates, the leader of House Democrats, Nancy Pelosi, put forward the party’s own version of the $2.5 trillion stimulus package.
The GOP rejected her proposal, saying the Democrats’ bill was riddled with provisions seemingly unrelated to rescuing the economy, like tougher rules on air pollution and a mandate for same-date voter registration.
President Donald Trump argued that the legislation was aimed at pushing for the Democrats’ “agenda” rather than repairing the damage done by Covid-19.