Senate passes coronavirus rescue package on unanimous vote

Senate Majority Whip John Thune, South Dakota Republican, was one of the latest to miss the votes; he flew home Wednesday because he wasn't feeling well. It also seems like companies getting bailouts have no requirements on executive compensation or keeping workers hired.

The White House reached a deal with Senate leaders of both parties early Wednesday morning on the legislation, which provides financial assistance to workers businesses and the healthcare system.

The package provides for about US$500 billion in loans and assistance for big companies, including struggling airlines, as well as states and cities.

As Wednesday wore on, it became increasingly clear that the historic measure, born out of a pandemic and meant to stave off an economic crisis, was not immune to partisan wrangling as its promised quick passage was imperiled by a swirl of last-minute drama. And no economic policy can fully end the hardship so long as the public health requires that we put so much of our commerce on ice. "It's their own tax dollars".

"That Washington drama does not matter any more", McConnell said.

Wall Street jumps on hopes of US$2 trillion stimulus
USA gold futures settled 1.5 per cent lower at US$1,634.90 an ounce, a day after posting their biggest one-day jump since 2009. But even optimists say the package provides just the second leg of three that markets need to regain lasting confidence.

Pelosi indicated in an interview with CNBC on Tuesday that she may try to get unanimous consent to clear the deal through the House chamber to save House lawmakers from flying back to Washington to pass it. House Republicans are strongly behind the measure, according to a senior GOP leadership congressional source. Hospitals would get significant help as well.

Germany, Europe's biggest economy, has agreed to commit over 1 trillion euros ($1.1 trillion) in fiscal stimulus and support - roughly 30% of that nation's entire annual output.

During negotiations, Democrats secured gains for hospitals, additional oversight of the huge industry stabilization fund, and money for cash-strapped states. "Congress has never passed a rescue package like this before".

Hospitals and health systems across the country are expected to get $130 billion in emergency grants, while billions more would be spent on medical and personal protective equipment.

The maximum weekly amount varies by state, but the extra unemployment insurance will add up to a maximum of $600 more per week.

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It also restricted the export of 26 pharmaceutical ingredients and the medicines made from them, including Paracetamol last month. Three people in Nigeria also overdosed on the same drug , prompting a warning from state officials there, CNN reported .

In a letter to his fellow Democrats, Schumer highlighted a series of transparency measures that would prevent keeping loans secret and create a new inspector general to oversee the program.

Democrats said the package would help replace the salaries of furloughed workers for four months, rather than the three months first proposed.

Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told the Senate that after almost a week of "arduous" negotiations that they now have a bipartisan agreement on the largest rescue package in American history but its passing is not a moment of celebration but of necessity to help Americans suffering medically and financially due to the coronavirus that is rapidly spreading throughout the country.

The $2 trillion price tag sounds staggering.

"I never in my wildest dream believed that we would incentivize people to stop working to take unemployment", said Graham. Appearing on MSNBC on Wednesday morning, Schumer said that MA senator Elizabeth Warren was instrumental in editing the legislation to include anticorruption measures.

Almost 16,000 Nebraskans file unemployment claims due to COVID-19
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims would rise to 1 million, though estimates were as high as 4 million. In the week ended March 14, there were 282,000 claims, revised up by 1,000 from the initial read.

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