​​​​​​​$2 trillion stimulus deal to blunt coronavirus fallout; Congress will aim to pass mammoth legislation swiftly

White House and Senate reach deal on massive coronavirus stimulus proposal

White House and Senate reach deal on massive coronavirus stimulus proposal File Photo

America (Channel TT): The American mainstream media focus on U.S. congress passing bill on coronavirus stimulus proposal. Senate leaders and the Trump administration reached agreement early Wednesday on a $2 trillion stimulus package to rescue the economy from the coronavirus assault, potentially setting the stage for swift passage of the massive legislation through both chambers of Congress.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) were expected to discuss the breakthrough on the Senate floor shortly, after a long day of talks with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Ueland and others.

The agreement capped five straight days of intensive negotiations that occasionally descended into partisan warfare as the nation’s economy reeled from the deadly pandemic, with schools and businesses closed, mass layoffs slamming the workforce, and tens of thousands falling ill.

The legislation, unprecedented in its size and scope, aims to flood the economy with capital by sending $1,200 checks to many adults Americans and and $500 to most children, creating a $367 billion loan program for small businesses, and setting up a $500 billion fund for industries, cities and states.

Other provisions include a massive boost to unemployment insurance, $150 billion for state and local stimulus funds and $130 billion for hospitals, among numerous other provisions.

Tuesday began with all parties predicting a deal would be imminent, along with a vote by Tuesday evening. But as the hours dragged on multiple disputes arose and legislative language required close review.

Finally, as midnight neared Tuesday, the pace of shuttle diplomacy picked up on the second floor of the Capitol, as Mnuchin, Ueland and newly named White House chief of staff Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) met alternately with McConnell and Schumer, who was in frequent contact with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

The package would extend extraordinary taxpayer assistance to potentially millions of American and companies that have been hammered by the fast-moving economic crisis. The bill is being rushed through Congress without public hearings or formal review, and it’s unclear how effective the measures would be in arresting the economy’s sudden fall.

White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow called it the “single largest Main Street assistance program in the history of the United States.”

But over the past 24 hours, the elements of the proposal have come into sharper focus, with $250 billion set aside for direct payments to individuals and families, $350 billion in small business loans, $250 billion in unemployment insurance benefits and $500 billion in loans for distressed companies.