The Senate passed late Wednesday an unparalleled $2.2 trillion economic rescue package steering aid to businesses, workers and health care systems engulfed by the coronavirus pandemic. The unanimous vote came despite misgivings on both sides about whether it goes too far or not far enough and capped days of difficult negotiations as Washington confronted a national challenge unlike it has ever faced.
The 880-page measure is the largest economic relief bill in U.S. history. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., appeared somber and exhausted as he announced the vote — and he released senators from Washington until April 20, though he promised to recall them if needed.
“The legislation now before us now is historic because it is meant to match a historic crisis,”said Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. “Our health care system is not prepared to care for the sick. Our workers are without work. Our businesses cannot do business. Our factories lie idle. The gears of the American economy have ground to a halt.”
The package is intended as relief for an economy spiraling into recession or worse and a nation facing a grim toll from an infection that’s killed nearly 20,000 people worldwide. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin asked how long the aid would keep the economy afloat, said: “We’ve anticipated three months. Hopefully, we won’t need this for three months.”
Insistently optimistic, President Donald Trump said of the greatest public-health emergency in anyone’s lifetime, “I don’t think its going to end up being such a rough patch” and anticipated the economy soaring “like a rocket ship” when it’s over.
The bill would provide one-time direct payments to Americans of $1,200 per adult making up to $75,000 a year, and $2,400 to a married couple making up to $150,000, with $500 payments per child.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday morning that Americans will get their stimulus checks through direct deposit within the next three weeks.
Mnuchin’s comments come a day after the Senate unanimously approved a $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package that includes a $1,200 payment to single Americans who make less than $75,000 a year, $2,400 for families that make under $150,000 a year, and $500 for each child under the age of 17. The bill is expected to pass the House and be signed into law by President Donald Trump in the near future.
Mnuchin says he’s hopeful that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will act quickly to pass the bill, so Americans can get their money as quickly as possible. “I would hope that the House passes this unanimously,” Mnuchin said. “I’ve already reached out to the speaker and to Kevin McCarthy on the sense of urgency.”
Mnuchin has been the White House’s point man in negotiations with Congress, and was instrumental in the passage of previous relief measures, including the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act,”which provided more than $1 trillion in stimulus money, including $500 billion in loans to small businesses.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., swung behind the bipartisan agreement, saying it “takes us a long way down the road in meeting the needs of the American people.”
Senate passage delivered the legislation to the Democratic-controlled House, which will most likely pass it Friday. House members are scattered around the country and the timetable for votes in that chamber was unclear.
House Democratic and Republican leaders have hoped to clear the measure for Trump’s signature by a voice vote without having to call lawmakers back to Washington.
A huge cash infusion for hospitals expecting a flood of COVID-19 patients grew during the talks to an estimated $130 billion. Another $45 billion would fund additional relief through the Federal Emergency Management Agency for local response efforts and community services.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer tried to exploit the crisis on Monday by introducing a massive coronavirus bill with a number of provisions completely unrelated to the crisis.
Their coronavirus bill had 1,119 pages and contained provisions including,:
*conducting risk-limiting audits of results of elections,” bailing out the postal service,
*requiring early voting,
*same-day voter registration,
* Requiring the airlines to fully offset their carbon emissions, gives you chance to look up greenhouse gas emissions from the flights you want to take,
* Student Loan forgiveness
* Report corporate pay stats by race
* New corporate diversity rules
* Major expansion and collective bargaining rights for federal workers
* Availability of internet for voter registration
* 2020 census reform relating to citizenship of students
* Bring back Obama phone program
and much more that have nothing to do with helping solve the crisis at hand. The bill also reportedly giave unprecedented collective bargaining powers for unions, increases fuel emissions standards for airlines and expands wind and solar tax credits.
Meanwhile House Speaker Nancy Pelosi falsely claimed Tuesday on CNN that House Democrats’ coronavirus proposal only deals with the virus, and does not seek unrelated policy changes.“It’s not a bill I would have written in terms of some things that relate to family medical leave, that relate to worker protections,” the speaker said. “Everything we’re suggesting just relates to Covid-19.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s planned to assist Americans amid the coronavirus pandemic includes $300,000,000 for migrants and refugees.
President Donald Trump was not happy with the lack of progress, tweeting Tuesday, “This is not about the ridiculous Green New Deal. It is about putting our great workers and companies BACK TO WORK.