White House, Congress agree on $2 trillion virus rescue bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — By ANDREW TAYLOR, LISA MASCARO and JONATHAN LEMIRE - The White House and Senate leaders of both parties announced agreement early Wednesday on an unprecedented $2 trillion emergency bill to rush sweeping aid to businesses, workers and a health care system slammed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The urgently needed measure is the largest economic rescue bill in history. It is intended as a weekslong or monthslong patch for an economy spiraling into recession — or worse — and a nation facing a potentially ghastly toll.

“To the American people, we say, big help, quick help is on the way,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Wednesday morning on CNN.

Schumer said he expected approval by the Republican-led Senate later in the day.
That would leave final congressional approval up to the Democratic-controlled House. In a written statement, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the bipartisan agreement “takes us a long way down the road in meeting the needs of the American people” but she stopped short of fully endorsing it.

“House Democrats will now review the final provisions and legislative text of the agreement to determine a course of action,” she said.

House members are scattered around the country and the timetable for votes in that chamber are unclear.

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Reprinted courtesy of The Associated Press
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)