After several hiccups, the Senate finally passed the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package on a unanimous vote late Wednesday night, the AP reports. The package is intended to aid to businesses, workers and health care systems engulfed by the coronavirus pandemic. “The legislation now before us now is historic because it is meant to match a historic crisis,“ said Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. The rescue package is the largest legislative relief effort in U.S. history, and equals half the size of the entire $4 trillion annual federal budget.
President Trump said Wednesday, “I don’t think its going to end up being such a rough patch” and anticipated the economy soaring “like a rocket ship” when it’s over. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin estimated that the package would keep the economy afloat for three months, but added, “Hopefully, we won’t need this for three months.” The bill has earmarked $367 million for small business loans, $500 billion for loans to bigger industries, including airlines, as well as relief for hospitals.
The bill also beefs up unemployment insurance, and provides one-time direct payments to Americans of $1,200 per adult making up to $75,000 a year, and $2,400 to a married couple making up to $150,000, with $500 payments per child.