US Senate, White House agree on $2tn Covid-19 spending bill

Washington, March 25
The White House and the US Senate leaders here on Wednesday reached an agreement on the $2 trillion coronavirus spending bill aimed at alleviating the economic impact of the outbreak, the top Republican lawmaker said.

Under the plan, people making up to $75,000 a year are expected to receive checks for $1,200. Couples making up to $150,000 would receive $2,400, with an additional $500 per child. The new agreement removed the phased-in provision that would have excluded lower-income Americans from receiving the full benefit, NBC news reported.

The payments would decrease for those making more than $75,000, with an income cap of $99,000 per individual or $198,000 for couples.

"At last, we have a deal," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said citing the massive "wartime level of investment into our nation." McConnell said he expected the Senate to pass the legislation on Wednesday.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said President Donald Trump would "absolutely" sign it if Congress passed it, Gulf News reported.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in the Senate floor early Wednesday, "We have a bipartisan agreement on the largest rescue package in the American history. This is not a moment of celebration, but one of necessity."

"Like all compromises, this bill is far from perfect. But we believe the legislation has been improved significantly to warrant its quick consideration and passage. Because many Democrats and Republicans were willing to do the serious hard work, the bill is much better off than where it started," he said.