Senate and White House agree on $2 trillion coronavirus aid package


Washington — The White House and Senate leaders of both parties have struck an agreement on a sweeping $2 trillion measure to aid workers, businesses and a health care system strained by the rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak.

Top White House aide Eric Ueland announced the agreement in a Capitol hallway shortly after midnight.

The agreement came after days of often intense haggling and mounting pressure and still needs to be finalized in detailed legislative language.

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"Ladies and gentlemen, we are done. We have a deal," Ueland said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer were seen huddling on the Senate floor about the package shortly after 1:40 am.

The unprecedented economic rescue package would give direct payments to most Americans, expand unemployment benefits and provide a $367 billion program for small businesses to keep making payroll while workers are forced to stay home.

One of the last issues to close concerned $500 billion for guaranteed, subsidized loans to larger industries, including a fight over how generous to be with the airlines. Hospitals would get significant help, as well.

First published on March 25, 2020 / 1:39 AM

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