The bill would extend $1,200 to most American adults and $500 for most children, and create a $500 billion lending program for businesses, cities and states and a $367 billion employee retention fund for small businesses. It would direct $130 billion to hospitals and provide four months of unemployment insurance, among other things.
Lawmakers and the White House were bombarded with lobbyists and special interest groups seeking assistance during the negotiations, and the price tag rose from $850 billion to $2.2 trillion in just a matter of days.
Meanwhile, for the first time since the outbreak reached the United States, state health departments around the country reported more than 200 coronavirus-related deaths in a single day on Wednesday.
As of Wednesday evening, more than 900 people in the country had died from complications of the virus, according to tracking by The Washington Post. Upward of 13,000 new cases were reported since Tuesday, bringing the nationwide total to more than 67,000 cases.
Here are some other significant developments:
- California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced that several major banks have agreed to delay mortgage payments for as long as three months for those affected by the outbreak.
- In two interviews late Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) expressed optimism about the Senate’s $2.2 trillion stimulus bill, but criticized Republican lawmakers who opposed its expanded unemployment benefits.
- The national death toll in Spain surpassed 3,400, making it the world’s hardest-hit country after Italy.
- More than 435,000 people around the world have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. But it is not mutating significantly as it circulates through the human population, according to scientists who are closely studying the pathogen’s genetic code. That relative stability is encouraging news for researchers hoping to create a long-lasting vaccine.
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