The Senate passed an unprecedented $2 trillion stimulus package late Wednesday night in a bid to soften the economic blow of the coronavirus pandemic. The bill is now on its way to the House, where it is expected to be voted on at 9 a.m. Friday. The 880-page measure—which paves the way for relief efforts costing about half the amount of the entire annual federal budget—passed despite four Republican senators holding up the vote by demanding changes to the legislation’s enhanced unemployment benefits, which they argued could encourage low-wage workers to stay unemployed. Although the legislation faced some criticism from both Democrats and Republicans, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said it “takes us a long way down the road in meeting the needs of the American people.” In addition to unemployment relief, the legislation includes a $500 billion program for subsidized loans to airlines and other industries. It also provides for one-time cash payments in the amount of $1,200 to individuals earning less than $75,000 a year and $2,400 to households making less than $150,000 a year.
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