Washington — The White House and Senate leaders of both parties have struck an agreement on a sweeping $2 trillion measure to aid workers, businesses and a health care system strained by the rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak.
Top White House aide Eric Ueland announced the agreement in a Capitol hallway shortly after midnight.
The agreement came after days of often intense haggling and mounting pressure and still needs to be finalized in detailed legislative language.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we are done. We have a deal,” Ueland said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer were seen huddling on the Senate floor about the package shortly after 1:40 am.
The unprecedented economic rescue package would give direct payments to most Americans, expand unemployment benefits and provide a $367 billion program for small businesses to keep making payroll while workers are forced to stay home.
One of the last issues to close concerned $500 billion for guaranteed, subsidized loans to larger industries, including a fight over how generous to be with the airlines. Hospitals would get significant help, as well.