WASHINGTON (CBS SF) — The White House has reached an agreement with Senate leaders on a massive $2 trillion stimulus package to help kickstart the U.S. economy after workers and businesses were hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
Top White House aide Eric Ueland announced the agreement in a Capitol hallway shortly after midnight, according to CBS News.
The agreement came after days of often intense haggling and mounting pressure and still needs to be finalized in detailed legislative language.
“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 a.m. Eastern time.
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.
BREAKING: Senate leaders of both parties and the White House have struck an agreement on a sweeping $2 trillion measure to save the economy. The package includes a one-time cash payment – up to $1,200 for most workers @KPIXtv #CoronavirusOutbreak #CoronaVirusUpdate pic.twitter.com/7noRqu16jN
— Betty Yu (@BettyKPIX) March 25, 2020
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.
The package will include a one-time cash payment for most working Americans. Individuals can receive up to $1,200 and average families can get up to $3,000. The bill also extends unemployment insurance up to 39 weeks in most states.
The legislation is expected to be enacted within days to help save struggling workers and businesses. The deal is the largest economic aid to American people in the country’s modern history.
Weekly benefits will be boosted by $600. The bill also includes nearly $500 billion in loans for some of the country’s largest businesses, while also providing nearly $400 billion in grants and loans for small businesses.
The deal was approved around 10 p.m. Tuesday evening. The agreement came after five straight days of negotiations. The Senate is expected to vote on the measure quickly with the House potentially following soon afterward.
“This package will be the single largest ‘main street’ assistance program in the history of the United States,” said Larry Kudlow, White House financial advisor.
The Federal Reserve also announced it will suspend some of its usual advisory activities, giving banks more flexibility to deal with cash-strapped customers.
The U.S. stock market surged Tuesday due to optimism about the package. The DOW Jones had its best day since 1933 and posted its biggest point gain ever. Stock futures were down, but briefly turned positive after reports of a deal.