BAILOUT: Senate Agreement Reached!

White House official Eric Eueland has declared that U.S. senators and the Trump administration have finally agreed to the details of the $2 trillion bailout for the coronavirus-stricken economy.

The proposed legislation will:

  • Hand out cash directly to Americans,
  • Provide billions to hospitals in dire need of medical equipment
  • Provide grants for small businesses,
  • Provide federally secured loans for corporations, and
  • Strengthen unemployment benefits to help laid off workers.

Lawmakers argued for several days over what should and shouldn’t be included in the package. Democrats initially rejected the deal they claimed was too “corporation friendly”, insisting that more worker protections were needed.

Yesterday morning, Trump tweeted that “Congress must approve the deal, without all of the nonsense, today. The longer it takes, the harder it will be to start up our economy Our workers will be hurt!“.

Perhaps the senators heeded his call as they reached an agreement early this morning.

Yesterday, buoyed by the possibility of an agreement, US stocks soared, with the DOW gaining 11.37% and the NASDAQ 8.12%. Indeed, the prospects of $2 trillion being injected into the economy reassured investors that a recession could be delayed.

However, the optimism could be short lived. Indeed, once approved by the Senate, the bill will also need to pass the Democratic-led house. Nancy Pelosi has suggested that the legislation could pass the House by unanimous consent, but how quickly is another question.

Indeed, asking the 435 lawmakers divided in two antagonist clans to approve a mammoth relief package without debate is a tough proposition.

Some Democrats are already criticizing the bill because it does not include an obligation for bailed out companies to keep employees on the payroll. The bill apparently mentions the possibility of loan forgiveness for companies who keep employees on their payroll through June 30th, but this is just an incentive, not an obligation.

Democrats also claim that the bill doesn’t include enough oversight on how corporations will spend the funds and that more aid should be given to hospitals who are lacking vital medical equipment.

Pelosi unveiled a $2.5 trillion counter-proposal that includes provisions for guaranteed paid and family medical leave, student loan forgiveness and oversight over how the $500 billion earmarked for corporations can be spent.

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