US Senate approves $2.2 trillion rescue package

Washington: U.S. Senate late Wednesday passed an unparalleled $2.2 trillion economic rescue package as an aid to businesses, workers and health care systems engulfed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The 880-page measure is the largest economic relief bill in U.S. history. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell appeared sombre and exhausted as he announced the vote – and he released senators from Washington until April 20, though he promised to recall them if needed.

“The legislation now before us now is historic because it is meant to match a historic crisis,” said Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. “Our health care system is not prepared to care for the sick. Our workers are without work. Our businesses cannot do business. Our factories lie idle. The gears of the American economy have ground to a halt.”

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 nearly 20,000 people worldwide. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, asked how long the aid would keep the economy afloat, said- “We’ve anticipated three months. Hopefully, we won’t need this for three months.”

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