US senators have reached a compromise with the Trump administration on a mammoth economic stimulus bill to cushion the economic blow from the coronavirus pandemic, as the infections with the contagious virus surpassed 53,000.
“We have a deal,” White House Legislative Affairs Director Eric Ueland told reporters in the early hours of Wednesday.
The revamped agreement wraps up five days of tough negotiations during which the Democrats blocked two votes on the Republican-drafted $1.8-trillion package.
They criticized the draft for its perceived failure to address the urgent needs of ordinary people and ensure substantial oversight over the Treasury’s $500-billion loan program for corporations.
The new Senate proposal, which has yet to pass through both houses of Congress, will allocate nearly $2 trillion to businesses and workers.
Apart from the $500-billion Treasury fund, it would provide tax rebates and expanded unemployment benefits, as well as $367 million for small businesses, $130 billion for hospitals, $200 billion for various “domestic priorities” such as public health, transportation and food stamps, $25 billion in direct financial assistance to troubled airlines, and $4 billion for air cargo carriers. It will also provide a one-time check of $1,200 to individuals who make up to $75,000 a year, $500 per child, and $2,400 per married couple.
Meanwhile, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the COVID-19 pandemic has left 53,740 infected people and killed 780 others so far in the United States.