Senate & White House Reach Deal On Coronavirus Stimulus Called ‘Largest Rescue Package In American History’

Mitch McConnell in the U.S. Senate.
Alex Wong / Getty Images

The White House has reached a deal with Senate leaders on a $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus being touted as the “largest rescue package in American history.”

After days of hammering out details of the deal meant to help Americans who are temporarily out of work and businesses that have been forced to shut their doors due to the coronavirus outbreak, leaders announced in the early morning hours on Wednesday that they had reached a deal. As The Hill reported, the package would inject $2 trillion into the economy, including $500 billion for a corporate loan program, $367 billion for small businesses, $100 billion for hospitals, and another $200 billion for other major needs like transportation, child care, and senior citizens.

The bill also includes a provision for all Americans making $75,000 or less to receive a one-time check of $1,200. Despite an initial deal that would have given a smaller amount to Americans who had little or no tax liability, the final bill allowed all to receive the full amount, the report noted.

Eric Ueland, the director of legislative affairs for the White House, announced just before 1 a.m. on Wednesday that the deal had been reached, the New York Post reported. There were still some final details to be worked out, and the vote was expected later in the morning on Wednesday.

“Much of the work on bill text has been completed. And I’m hopeful that over the next few hours we’ll finish what’s left and be able to circulate it early in the morning,” Ueland said.

The deal was praised by members of both parties, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer calling it “the largest rescue package in American history.”

One sticking point in the negotiations was who would have control over the corporate assistance program, with Democrats pushing back against giving this power directly to Donald Trump’s administration. The final deal called for the creation of an inspector general and oversight committee, which The Hill noted was the same approach used when Barack Obama passed a stimulus to counter the effects of the great recession in 2009.

There are already indications that the Senate deal will have the support of the House, with Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying on Tuesday that she was confident the final Senate deal would pass both houses.

The coronavirus stimulus package comes as an increasing number of states have enacted stringent measures to stop the spread of the virus, including shutting down all non-essential businesses and calling for residents to remain in their homes for all but essential trips. As a result, unemployment claims are expected to soar over the coming weeks.