$2 Trillion to Stimulate the Economy

The Senate's Republican majority leader Mitch McConnell was expected to speak on the Senate floor about the agreement

The Senate finished negotiating its coronavirus relief package early in the morning of March 25. The original bill also did not have accountability measures in place to make sure President Donald Trump's administration directed disaster relief funds to where they were needed most. "I will sign it immediately", Trump told reporters on Wednesday. Some $240 billion is set aside for additional emergency appropriations and safety net programs: food stamp benefits, child nutrition, the Centres for Disease Control, and public health and transportation agencies.

NBC News' report added, "The bill is also expected to include roughly $100 billion in assistance for hospitals; $350 billion in assistance to small businesses; $500 billion in aid for corporations, including airline companies and cruise lines, that have been hurt by the outbreak; and about $150 billion for state and local stimulus funds".

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has been meeting with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to resolve Democrats' complaints about the Republican legislation.

The package is intended as relief for an economy spiraling into recession or worse and a nation facing a grim toll from an infection that's killed more than 21,000 people worldwide.

But it was delayed by criticism from both the right and left on Wednesday, pushing the final vote on passage nearly another full day.

Graham is one of a handful of Republican senators who raised objections to an unemployment compensation provision in the bill. However, an amendment that would have changed the unemployment provision failed just before the Senate approved the measure.

There had been criticism of the bill from the most progressive wing of the Democratic-led House. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called it "a historic corporate giveaway" on Twitter.

The Senate approval of the bill came a few hours after the White House and Senate leaders reached a deal early Wednesday morning on the stimulus plan, following days of strenuous negotiations between Republicans and Democrats. Bringing more than 400 lawmakers from as far away as Hawaii and Alaska would be hard because a few are in self-quarantine and several states have issued stay-at-home orders. On the other side of Capitol Hill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has already endorsed the broad contours of the Senate compromise, but many House members are unavailable, especially after their recent interactions with two lawmakers who've since tested positive for COVID-19.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio told CNN late Wednesday he believed the coronavirus crisis will last "substantially past" Easter.

NY sees glimmer of progress against Covid-19, New Orleans worsens
Asked about Trump's claims by a journalist at his Wednesday morning briefing, Cuomo said, "that's not the fact and you know it". Once once more, Clinton is revealing that she prefer to see our nation fall short than see Trump be successful.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the $3.8 billion allocated to his state would not cover the tax revenue it stands to lose from reduced economic activity.

Pelosi said she was sympathetic to Cuomo and other state officials, but wanted a rescue package to move on.

The disputes clouded optimism that the bill could become law quickly. The money at stake amounts to almost half of the $4.7 trillion the USA government spends annually.

Investors were cheered by the news or the deal. On Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 rallied for a second straight day, closing up 1.15%. "This is a wartime level of investment into our nation", said Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell after announcing the deal. It needed 60 votes to pass.

The unanimous vote Wednesday came despite misgivings on both sides about whether it goes too far or not far enough and capped days of hard negotiations as Washington confronted a national challenge unlike it has ever faced.

Thune did not say whether he had coronavirus symptoms, although he said he was not advised to self-quarantine.

The sprawling measure is the third coronavirus response bill produced by Congress and by far the largest.

In this file photo, US Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Woody Johnson, is pictured after listening to British prime minister Boris Johnson and David Attenborough during a conference about the UK-hosted COP26 UN Climate Summit, at the Science Museum in London, Britain.

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