WASHINGTON, DC (WITN) - The Senate passed an unparalleled $2.2 trillion economic rescue package steering aid to businesses, workers and health care systems engulfed by the coronavirus pandemic.
The bill now heads to the House, which will push to pass it Friday by voice vote as most representatives are out of Washington.
The 883-page measure is the largest economic relief bill in U.S. history. After days of delay and a last-minute scramble, the chamber at long last unveiled the final version late Wednesday and scheduled immediate votes.
The 880-page legislation, crafted at a furious pace in recent days, includes direct payments to individuals, stronger unemployment insurance, loans and grants to businesses and more health care resources for hospitals, states, and municipalities. It includes requirements that insurance providers cover preventive services for the coronavirus disease COVID-19.
The unanimous vote comes despite misgivings on both sides about whether it goes too far or not far enough. It caps days of difficult negotiations as Washington confronted a national challenge unlike it has ever faced. 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.