White House and Senate leaders of both parties reached a deal shortly after midnight on Wednesday, on a massive $2 trillion coronavirus relief package for workers and businesses. It’s expected to be voted on today, with the House taking it up later this week.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we are done,” White House legislative affairs director Eric Ueland announced as he left the office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., near midnight. “We have a deal.”
Ueland told reporters that “much of the work on bill text has been completed, and I’m hopeful over the next few hours we’ll finish what’s left and we will circulate it early in the morning.”
The historic bill 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
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said the bill amounts to “unemployment compensation on steroids,” and that every American who is laid off will have their missed salary remunerated. That provision will enable companies to stay afloat and immediately bring back those employees when things are safe, Schumer said.