U.S. Senate leadership aims to finalize trillion-dollar coronavirus bill
Republican and Democratic leaders of the U.S. Senate were headed back to the negotiating table on Sunday as they scrambled to work out a $1 trillion-plus bill aimed at limiting the coronavirus pandemic’s heavy toll on the economy.
The bill, Congress’s third effort to limit the economic hit, aimed to include financial assistance for average Americans, small businesses and critically affected industries including airlines.
The virus has killed at least 325 and sickened more than 25,000 across the United States, leading governors and mayors to shut schools, businesses and many aspects of American life.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin predicted on Sunday the White House and Congress would reach an agreement. Congressional leaders were due to resume negotiations at 11 a.m. (1500 GMT). Over the past week, President Donald Trump’s administration has been pushing for aggressive steps to stem the economic hit, after Trump spent several weeks downplaying the virus’ risks.
Mnuchin said the package would include loans for small businesses, direct deposits that could give an average U.S. family of four $3,000 and up to $4 trillion in liquidity for the U.S. central bank to support the economy.
22 March 2020