U.S. Senate passes $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package
Updated 12:32, 26-Mar-2020


The U.S. Senate passed the nation's largest-ever rescue package late Wednesday, a two trillion U.S. dollar lifeline to suffering Americans, depleted hospitals and an economy all ravaged by a rapidly spreading coronavirus crisis. 

The monster deal thrashed out between Republicans, Democrats and the White House includes cash payments to American taxpayers and several hundred billion dollars in grants and loans to small businesses and core industries. It also buttresses hospitals desperately in need of medical equipment and expands unemployment benefits. 

The measure cleared the Senate by an overwhelming majority and was headed next to the House of Representatives, which must also pass it before it goes to President Donald Trump for his signature.

Details expected in the bill:

- Direct payments to people: About 250 billion U.S. dollars in direct payments to people. Those who made up to 75,000 U.S. dollars based on 2018 tax returns are eligible to receive checks of 1,200 U.S. dollars. Couples who made up to 150,000 U.S. dollars are eligible to receive 2,400 U.S. dollars with an additional 500 U.S. dollars per child.  

- Aid to hospitals and businesses: Roughly 100 billion U.S. dollars are expected to assist hospitals; 350 billion U.S. dollars to assist small businesses; and 500 billion U.S. dollars in aid for corporations, such as airline companies and cruise lines.

- Aid to state and local governments: 150 billion U.S. dollars are expected in coronavirus stimulus bill to aid state and local governments.

- Additional unemployment insurance: Some 250 billion U.S. dollars for expanding unemployment insurance.

Read more: White House, Senate reach $2 trillion deal on coronavirus relief package

(With input from AFP)