WASHINGTON — The Senate and the Trump administration have a deal for a two-trillion dollar coronavirus economic stimulus package.
“In effect, this is a war-time level of investment into our nation,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell after the vote. “The men and women of the greatest country on Earth are going to defeat this coronavirus and reclaim our future.”
The White House announced the deal around 1 a.m. EDT.
The agreement came after five straight days of intense negotiations on a bill that will provide relief for businesses, laid-off workers, and families. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said lawmakers had to act.
“This is not a moment of celebration but one of necessity,” Schumer said. “We have the anguish of the American people wondering about the future of their health, the health of their loved ones, and the economy.”
The bill also includes grant money to research treatments for the virus.
Once a deal is released, the next question will be how quickly it can be approved by both chambers — a challenge made more daunting by the fact that Congress is now operating in a scenario where several of its members have tested positive for coronavirus while many more have self-quarantined after contact with infected individuals.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested on Tuesday that she is hoping to avoid bringing the full House back to Washington to vote on the package, seeking to pass it through unanimous consent instead. But any individual member can block such a move, creating uncertainty over whether that will be feasible.
It’s estimated that more than half the people in the U.S. are under some form of shelter-in-place and non-essential business closure orders from state and local governments.
(CNN contributed to this article)