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27 Mar, 2020 17:34

US Congress approves $2.2 trillion stimulus bill, sends to White House

US Congress approves $2.2 trillion stimulus bill, sends to White House

The US House has approved the mammoth $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill passed earlier this week by the Senate, sending the long-awaited relief package to President Donald Trump’s desk for signing.

The bill sailed through the House with a voice vote despite an attempt by Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky) to force a roll-call poll. The pressing need to distribute immediate aid to individual Americans and small businesses starved for cash by coronavirus-related shutdowns appeared to override legislators’ objections to various controversial provisions included in the massive legislative package.

Trump is expected to approve the bill, which will give $1,200 each to Americans making under $75,000 in annual income, expand unemployment benefits, and provide $377 billion in aid to small businesses. Its more controversial provisions include a $500 billion corporate fund, which progressive Democrats have slammed as a no-strings-attached bailout.

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After stalling in the Senate over the weekend due to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s objections, the bill ballooned in size to over a thousand pages, forcing both parties back to the negotiating table.

While the end result has been held up as a victory for working people by the leaders of both parties, others have derided the one-time payment to individuals as a pittance compared to the massive sums being routed into the pockets of corporate executives.

The measure passed unanimously in the Senate Wednesday night, however, and Massie’s efforts to re-examine it in the House were excoriated by both parties, including Trump himself.

Millions have been laid off in the US as government-mandated shutdowns force service economy businesses to close their doors, and with over two-thirds of Americans having less than $600 in savings put aside for an emergency, a critical segment of the population needs cash now.

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