The Lead: Congress Passes $2 Trillion Package

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The Senate and White House have approved a $2 trillion stimulus plan for the coronavirus pandemic. Details have not been released yet because the agreement came at 1 in the morning today.

Senate Leader Mitch McConnell called this “a wartime level of investment into our nation.”

This comes after days of fighting over who should receive the most benefits. Republicans’ first proposal had the majority of funds going to struggling businesses. At the same time, Democrats wanted funds to go straight to families in a real chicken-or-egg argument of economic causality. It appears the deal will do both.

The rescue package includes direct checks mailed to American families who need it the most of up to $3,400 per family on a sliding scale by annual income. It also includes a $367 billion program for small businesses and substantial financial help for hospitals that will inevitably struggle to accommodate increasing numbers of virus sufferers.

Also notable is that the deal excludes President Trump, his family, and other top government officials and members of Congress explicitly from drawing on this relief package.

The bill goes next to the House of Representatives for a final vote, which could be a problem since several members are now out of commission, having tested positive for the virus. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested that she would try to pass the bill without bringing the full House back to Washington. She is calling for the law to receive unanimous consent as the clock is ticking.

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