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Senate reaches deal on $2 trillion relief package

Video credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on March 25, 2020 - Duration: 01:42s

Senate reaches deal on $2 trillion relief package

After days of tense partisan discussions, U.S.senators have reached an agreement on a massive $2 trillion coronavirus relief package.

Gloria Tso reports.

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Senate reaches deal on $2 trillion relief package

After days of tense partisan discussions... (SOUNDBITE) (English) SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL, SAYING: We have a deal.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate struck an agreement on a near 2 trillion dollar stimulus bill at almost 2 am on Wednesday (March 25).

It aims to prop up the economy as the coronavirus outbreak grows worse in the United States.

Democrats had twice rejected Senate Republicans' earlier version of the bill, arguing that it lacked proper oversight.

The new version has an inspector general and an oversight board.

Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the deal would include $150 billion in aid to state and local governments on top of support for hospitals, corporations, and unemployed workers.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) SENATE MINORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER, SAYING: "To all Americans I say, help is on the way , big help and quick help." COVID-19 has killed hundreds of people in the United States and sickened tens of thousands.

The deal came just hours after President Trump said he wants the country back to business by Easter.

Thousands of businesses have closed, throwing millions out of work.

The outbreak has led states to order 100 million people - nearly a third of the population - to stay at home.

Wednesday's deal had been expected to include a $500 billion fund to help hard-hit industries.

It accounts for direct payments of up to $3,000 to millions of U.S. families, hundreds of billions for small businesses and expanded unemployment aid, and 75 billion for hospitals under strain.

The money at stake in the rescue package exceeds what the U.S. government spends on national defense, scientific research and other discretionary programs. The full text of the agreement is not expected to be available until later on Wednesday.

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