The U.S. Senate late Wednesday unanimously passed an unparalleled $2.2 trillion economic rescue package steering aid to businesses, workers and health care systems engulfed by the coronavirus pandemic.
The package, intended as relief for an economy spiraling into recession, was slowed as four conservative GOP senators from states who economies are dominated by low-wage jobs demanded changes. They argued the legislation as written might give workers like store clerks incentives to stay on unemployment instead of returning to their jobs since they may earn more money if they’re laid off than if they’re working. They settled for a failed vote to modify the provision.
The bill now goes to the House where passage is expected Friday. President Trump said he will sign it “immediately.”
This is the third coronavirus response bill produced by Congress and by far the largest. It builds on efforts focused on vaccines and emergency response, sick and family medical leave for workers, and food aid.