Not one member objected. The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a $2 trillion stimulus bill. Its funds are aimed at helping unemployed workers and industries hurt by the coronavirus pandemic. And the package makes billions of dollars available to buy urgently needed medical equipment.
The usually divided Senate voted “yes,” 96 to 0.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “I’m proud to announce tonight not a single senator voted against this $2 trillion rescue bill to save American individuals, small businesses, larger businesses, and to provide considerable funding for the healthcare workers and the scientists and the doctors and others who are trying to solve this pandemic.”
The stimulus bill is the largest rescue package in American history. Included in it are such things as:
• Payments of up to $3,000 to U.S. families
• Up to $500 billion for distressed industries, such as hard-hit airlines
• $250 billion to expand unemployment aid
• $100 billion for hospitals and related health systems
• $350 billion assistance for small-businesses
Businesses owned by President Trump, other administration officials, and members of Congress are not eligible for assistance.
The stimulus amounts to nearly half of what the U.S. government spends annually. The main idea behind it is to flood the economy with cash. Leaders hope the move will help stem the financial impact of the growing COVID-19 pandemic. That virus has killed more than 900 people in the United States and infected at least 60,000.
The U.S. House of Representatives must now approve the law. Members are expected to do so before the weekend. President Trump told reporters he would sign the bill as soon as it reaches his desk.
(Stacks of freshly printed $100 bills make their way down the line at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Western Currency Facility in Fort Worth, Texas. AP Photo/LM Otero)