COVID-19 Special Coverage
Senate reaches deal for $2 trillion coronavirus relief package
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Senate reaches deal for $2 trillion coronavirus relief package

The US Senate announced early Wednesday morning that it has reached a deal for a $2 trillion dollar coronavirus relief and economic stimulus package.

Early Wednesday morning, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) took to the Senate floor to announce that they had reached a bipartisan deal.

“At last, we have a deal. After days of intense discussions, the Senate has reached a bipartisan agreement for a historic relief package for this pandemic,” said Majority Leader McConnell. “This is a wartime level of investment into our nation.”

Minority Leader Schumer followed McConnell, saying, “We have a bipartisan agreement on the largest rescue package in American history.” Schumer, whose home state has been said to be the “epicenter” of the coronavirus in the US, added this is “not a moment of celebration, but one of necessity.”

Though final details of the deal are yet to be released, it is expected to approve a $350 billion program to small businesses in an effort to keep Americans on payroll. Additionally, it is expected to include one-time checks of $1,200 to many Americans and checks of $500 to children, and there will be an expansion of unemployment benefits that will extend to nontraditional employees, like gig workers.

The bill will also invest nearly $150 billion into the already strained health care system and another $150 billion dollars to state and local governments to assist with costs related to the coronavirus.

The most contentious part of the negotiations was $500 billion in corporate aid. Senate Democrats had blocked previous version on the deal because it did not provide sufficient oversight of the corporate aid and lacked protections for workers. The deal is expected to provide increased oversight of the corporate aid package, prohibit stock buybacks for one year for any company receiving a loan from the package, as well as a ban on businesses controlled by federal elected officials or their families.

The deal is believed to have the support of the White House and the House of Representatives.

As news of the deal made its way to Wall Street, the DOW Jones Industrial Average rallied, posting its largest single-day percentage gain since 1933 and its biggest point gain in history.

A Senate vote on the bill is expected on Wednesday.

For more on COVID-19, see our special coverage.