The Wider World

Senate passes $2.2T stimulus bill

A DEAL of nearly $2 trillion has been reached for a bill to counter the economic impact of the corona virus (Pexels photo).

UPDATE: The U.S. Senate Wednesday night passed a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus package to shore up the economy in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. A vote by the House of Representatives is expected to follow on Friday.

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Agreement has finally been reached on an economic stimulus package of almost $2 trillion aimed at alleviating the impact of the coronavirus crisis.

According to the Associated Press, a deal between the Trump administration and the Democratic Senate leadership could lead to a final vote later today (Wednesday).

The bill, if passed by Congress and signed into law by the President, would include:

  • $300 billion for small businesses;
  • $150 billion for local and state governments;
  • $130 billion for hospitals.

Additionally, the package will feature:

  • direct payments of $1200 or less to most adults;
  • loans to businesses;
  • an expansion of unemployment insurance.

The one-time payments to individuals will be based on income as reported for 2018. The amount would begin to decline with people making $75,000 (or $150,000 for a couple filing jointly) all the way to zero for those making $99,000 (or $198,000 for married couples filing jointly).

As for unemployment insurance, it will cover free-lancers, “gig workers” (such as Uber or Lyft drivers) and furloughed workers. The amount of the payments to the jobless will be increased by $600 per week for four weeks.

Prince Charles diagnosed with coronavirus

Prince Charles, the 71-year-old heir to the British throne and The Prince of Wales, has tested positive for coronavirus.

His symptoms are described as “mild” and he is said to be resting comfortably. He and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, are “self-isolating.” She has been tested but does not have the virus, according to The Guardian newspaper.

 

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