Lawmakers announce $2 trillion coronavirus response deal

Capitol
U.S. Capitol. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate leaders announced a compromise with the White House on a massive $2 trillion spending package that would send checks to Americans and provide aid to small businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The deal was announced early Wednesday morning after days of heated negotiations on Capitol Hill.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he expects the Senate to pass the legislation later on Wednesday.

“We have a bipartisan agreement on the largest rescue package in American history. This is not a moment of celebration, but one of necessity,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on the Senate floor.

The legislation would send checks of $1,200 to many Americans, create a $367 billion loan program to aid small businesses and fund a $500 billion lending program for industries, cities and states, the Washington Post reported.

The legislation would also ensure that these taxpayer-funded loans can’t be made to firms owned by President Donald Trump, other White House officials, or members of Congress, the Post reported. Another $150 billion would be included for state and local stimulus funds and $130 billion would go to hospitals.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Wednesday morning that the bipartisan compromise marked an improvement over a previous proposal from Senate Republicans. It “does not go as far” as the plan House Democrats had offered, but “the bill has moved a great deal closer to America’s workers,” she said.

“House Democrats will now review the final provisions and legislative text of the agreement to determine a course of action.”

Robin Bravender
Robin Bravender was the States Newsroom Washington Bureau Chief from January 2019 until June 2020. She coordinated the network’s national coverage and reported on states’ congressional delegations, federal agencies, the White House and the federal courts. Prior to that, Robin was an editor and reporter at E&E News, a reporter at Politico, and a freelance producer for Reuters TV.