By: Paul Kane, Mike DeBonis, and Erica Werner
President Trump on Friday signed a massive $2 trillion emergency spending bill into law, which policy makers hope will blunt some of the coronavirus epidemic’s economic fallout.
His signature came just hours after the House of Representatives passed the measure by a voice vote, and less than 48 hours after it received unanimous approval from the Senate.
“I want to thank Democrats and Republicans for coming together and putting America first," Trump said.
Now, the White House, Treasury Department, Small Business Administration and other agencies must rush to try and flood the economy with money under the new law. The law authorizes Treasury to send $1,200 payments to millions of Americans and creates programs to disburse close to $1 trillion in business loans and guarantees to millions of large and small companies throughout the entire economy.
There are now roughly 100,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S. and it has caused more than 1,300 deaths domestically, figures that have been rising rapidly. To avoid contagion, much of America has shut down. Schools have closed. Most public gatherings have been cancelled. Many Americans have stopped leaving their homes, devastating millions of businesses that depend on consumer spending for their cashflow.
This led 3.3 million employees to file for unemployment benefits last week, by far the most over a seven-day span in recent American history. A number of economists believe the U.S. economy has taken a nose dive from a period of relative economic strength to one of the worst recessions ever recorded.
To respond, the White House and Congress assembled a massive spending bill that directs money to households, businesses, cities, states, and hospitals, while seeking to buttress state unemployment programs that are overwhelmed with new filers. To read more, click here