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26 March 2020

US Senate approves $2 trillion COVID-19 rescue plan, sends bill to House

The size of the stimulus package is unprecedented and bigger than the $800 billion Obama stimulus that passed five months after the 2008 financial crash

The package will likely more than double a US budget deficit that was already set to hit $1 trillion this year/Bloomberg

by Bloomberg

The US Senate has approved a historic $2 trillion rescue plan to respond to the economic and health crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, putting pressure on the Democratic-led House to pass the bill quickly and send it to President Donald Trump for his signature.

The package includes an unprecedented injection of loans, tax breaks and direct payments for major corporations and individual taxpayers to shore up the US economy as people avoid social interaction and businesses close to curb the spreading of COVID-19. More than 68,000 people in the US have been infected with the deadly respiratory disease and some economists warn that unemployment could hit 30 per cent.

Furthermore, the stimulus package provides around $500 billion in loans and assistance for big companies, including struggling airlines as well as states and cities. There is also a separate aid package of about $350 billion for small businesses.

The economic rescue package provides direct payments to lower-and middle-income Americans of $1,200 for each adult as well as $500 for each child. Unemployment insurance would be vastly expanded. There also is money for hospitals, some of which are on the verge of being overwhelmed.

Together with US Federal Reserve actions, the legislation amounted to a $6 trillion stimulus, about 30 per cent of annual GDP.

The outbreak has directly hit on Congress, where three lawmakers have reported testing positive for the coronavirus and several others are in self-quarantine.






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