Senate approves $2 trillion stimulus package

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) – Congress says help is on the way with the passage overnight of a $2 trillion stimulus plan.

The wide-ranging measure is intended to limit the effects of COVID-19 on the economy as local and state governments are trying to stop the spread of the deadly virus.

Overnight on Capitol Hill, Senate leaders struck a deal, agreeing to a massive coronavirus stimulus package, the largest in U.S history.

The deal, which must still be voted on by both the Senate and House, includes $100 billion of relief funding for hospitals, $200 billion in aid for child care, seniors and veterans, $500 billion for major corporate loans and a small business rescue package that’s over $350 billion dollars.

The bill will also provide a one-time $1,200 check to Americans who make $75,000 a year or less.

The Treasury Secretary says President Trump will “absolutely” sign it.

Meanwhile, the president hopes the country will be back up and running, full steam ahead, by Easter, just two and a half weeks from now, despite repeated cautions from the nation’s top health experts.

However, his own task force advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, says the deadline must be flexible. “You have to be very flexible,” he said. “On a literally day by day and week by week basis. You need to evaluate the feasibility of what you’re trying to do.”

Dr. Fauci added there would not be a blanket recommendation for the country since cases vary state to state.

New York remains the biggest coronavirus hot spot, accounting for more than half of the country’s cases and nearly a third of the deaths.

The World Health Organization warns the United States has the potential to overtake Italy as the global epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.

The president is also doubling down on the idea that economic instability caused by the coronavirus could be worse than the pandemic itself.

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