US Congress Approves New COVID-19 Assistance Package Worth $484bn (£391bn)
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A new COVID-19 assistance package worth $484bn (£391bn) has been approved by the US Congress, the fourth aid bill to clear Congress in reaction to the pandemic. The bill, passed by the House of Representatives 388-5, complements a small enterprise aid program, thus financing hospitals and research. President Donald Trump said the bill that passed the Senate overwhelmingly Tuesday will be enacted. The US has reported more than 845,000 virus cases and 46,800 deaths.
Washington introduced the biggest economic stimulus plan in US history last month, with $2 trillion in funding for coronavirus. Thursday’s bill would carry up to $3tn of overall federal spending on relief from COVID-19, widening the US budget shortfall to record levels. Mr Trump and Democrats are eager to pass another relief bill that would reach $1tn but the fellow Republicans of the president are not eager.
Leader of the Republican Senate Mitch McConnell has attacked bipartisans for suggesting that he would accept states declaring bankruptcy rather than “borrowing funds from future generations” from the federal government. Official unemployment estimates on Thursday brought the economic ravages of the pandemic to sharp focus, showing that over 26 million Americans have applied for jobless claims over the last five years and last week alone 4.4 million.
Loans to Small Companies to Retain Workers
In the bill on Thursday, lawmakers gave the Paycheck Insurance Plan $310bn in new money. This provides loans to small companies so that they can retain workers on the payroll. Last month, after only 13 days, the $349bn allocated to the system ran out. It is leaving millions of business owners wondering whether they could continue to function.
There is the outrage when big, publicly-trading corporations in the cash and the U.S. Treasury giving the money back without a penalty until May 7. Democrats insisting on allocating funds for hospitals and research in the process of discussions for the new stimulus package. Hospitals will obtain $75 billion, and $25 billion will go towards expanding COVID-19 research. It is a crucial move in reopening the economy that analysts have emphasized.
The legislating on Thursday took place with social distancing-members waited for the vote. This is in their offices, came to the floor in small groups. Also, the chamber washes between votes. Ohio Republican Jim Jordan has upset some Democrats. It is for standing-and allegedly coughing-on the House floor without a face mask.
In other developments:
- Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren announced the death of her eldest brother at COVID-19
- Democratic congresswoman Maxine Waters stated her sister died of the disease and gave her the relief bill
- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo states that preliminary evidence indicates that far more people infect with COVID-19. This is generally as antibody testing finds more than 21% of 1,300 diagnoses.