The Senate on Wednesday approved a historic, $2 trillion stimulus package to provide a jolt to an economy reeling from the pandemic, capping days of intense discussions that produced one of the most expensive and far-reaching measures the Congress has ever considered.
The vote was unanimous at 96-0.
The legislation represents the massive emergency aid package in US history and the most significant legislative action taken to address the rapidly intensifying pandemic crisis, which is grinding much of the economy to a stop and overwhelming hospitals.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced on Wednesday evening ahead of Senate passage that the House will convene at 9 in the morning on Friday to consider the relief package. The plan is to pass the bill by vote, a move that would allow the House to avoid forcing all members to return to Washington for a recorded roll call vote.
US President Donald Trump has indicated he will sign the measure.
The Senate leaders and the White House struck a major deal early Wednesday morning on the package. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell formally announced the agreement on the Senate floor, calling it as “a wartime level of investment for our nation.”
On Wednesday evening, the legislative text of the final deal was released ahead of a final vote. Key elements of the proposal are $250 billion in unemployment insurance benefits, $250 billion set aside for direct payments to families and individuals, $350 billion in small business loans, and $500 billion in loans for distressed companies.
The plan will deliver a large infusion of financial aid into a struggling economy hard hit by job loss, with provisions to help impacted American workers and families as well as small businesses and major industries including airlines.
Under the plan, individuals who earn $75,000 in adjusted gross income or less would get direct payments of $1,200 each, with married couples earning up to $150,000 receiving $2,400 — and an additional $500 per each child.
The payment would scale down by income, phasing out entirely at $99,000 for singles and $198,000 for couples without children.
Additionally, the bill would provide $130 billion for funding hard-hit hospitals. As well as $150 billion for state and local governments that are cash-strapped due to their response to coronavirus.
According to Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s office, the bill also has a provision that would block President Trump and his family, as well as other top government officials and members of Congress, from getting investments or loans from Treasury programs in the stimulus.