07 de julio de 2020
English - News

Senate ready to approve biggest stimulus package in US history

By Alfonso Fernandez

Washington, Mar 25 (efe-epa).- The US Senate is ready on Wednesday to approve the largest fiscal stimulus package in the country's modern history to try and counteract the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, which could push the economy into a recession.

Despite the emergency situation and having announced an agreement between Republicans and Democrats on Wednesday morning, lawmakers throughout the day continued discussing the elements of the $2 trillion legislation, known as the CARES Act (short for "Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act").

The stimulus package is equivalent to about 10 percent of the US gross domestic product.

"Our nation needed us to go big, and go fast," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in comments on the Senate floor on Wednesday, calling it "a wartime level of investment in our nation" and predicting that senators would approve the bill later in the day although its final text has not yet been made available.

Conservatives have a 53-47 majority in the Senate and, to be approved, the package must obtain at least 60 votes.

In an unusual show of agreement with McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer confirmed his support for the bill.

"To the American people, we say: Big help, quick help, is on the way," Schumer told CNN on Wednesday.

Although some details remain to be ironed out, the bill includes $1,200 in one-time direct payments to Americans earning less than $75,000 per year plus $500 per child age 17 or younger; provides more than $360 billion in loans to small businesses; and sets up a $500 billion fund for loans to industries, cities and states.

The measure also includes $250 billion to expand unemployment insurance benefits for people who lose their jobs, $150 billion for state and local authorities and another $100 billion to strengthen the nation's healthcare system, which in hot-spots of the epidemic, such as New York City, is beginning to be overwhelmed.

One of the main bones of contention in the bill was who would administer the distribution of $500 billion in loans to businesses hard-hit by the epidemic - including airlines, the hotel industry and cruise lines - with the White House and GOP lawmakers wanting these funds administered exclusively by the Treasury Department with little, if any, outside oversight.

Democratic lawmakers refused to agree to this and ultimately the funds will be supervised by an independent inspector and will include conditions such as prohibiting the money from being used for executive salaries or stock buybacks.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who was heading the talks for the White House, said that President Donald Trump intends to sign the bill as soon as it is sent to the Oval Office, although the measure would first go to the House of Representatives for approval if it passes in the Senate.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who presides over the Democratic majority in the lower house, has given the green light to the bill, although she is studying its elements and said that the chamber probably will not vote on it until Thursday.

The $2 trillion stimulus package is almost three times the $700 billion package implemented during the 2008 financial crisis.

The World Health Organization warned earlier this week that the spread of the coronavirus in the US has accelerated in recent days, with the country now having the third largest number of infected people, after China and Italy.

According to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some 54,000 people are known to have been infected in the US and 775 have died, although The John Hopkins University has put those totals at 61,167 infected and 869 deaths.




Histórico de noticias
Daily COVID-19 pandemic roundup: July 6

Miami Desk, Jul 6 (efe-epa).- Here's a roundup of stories around the world related to the novel coronavirus pandemic:

At least 7 dead, 40 injured when gasoline truck burns on Colombia highway

Barranquilla, Colombia, Jul 6 (efe-epa).- At least seven people died and 40 were injured on Monday when a tanker truck filled with gasoline flipped over and...

Texas, Florida hospitals on verge of collapse while Trump does nothing

Washington, Jul 6 (efe-epa).- Some hospitals in the states of Texas and Florida are on the verge of having no additional beds for coronavirus - or any other...

Trudeau will not visit Washington to hail USMCA pact with Trump, AMLO

Toronto, Jul 6 (efe-epa).- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will not travel to Washington this week to meet with US President Donald Trump and Mexican...

Too-early reopening responsible for Covid-19 spikes in US

Washington, Jul 5 (efe-epa).- Local officials in the US states hardest hit by the renewed Covid-19 spikes - including Florida and Arizona - on Sunday are...

Daily COVID-19 pandemic roundup: July 2

Miami Desk, Jul 2 (efe-epa).- Here's a roundup of stories around the world related to the novel coronavirus pandemic:

US puts brakes on economic reopening as daily infection tally hits new high

By Jairo Mejia

Plastic curtain allows relatives to hug quarantined elderly in Sao Paulo

By Carla Samon Ros

Three snapshots of Venezuela's ongoing crisis

By Ron Gonzalez

Daily COVID-19 pandemic roundup: July 1

Miami Desk, Jul 1 (efe-epa).- Here's a roundup of stories around the world related to the novel coronavirus pandemic:

US buys up almost all Remdesivir to treat COVID-19

Washington, Jul 1 (efe-epa).- The United States, the world epicenter for the coronavirus with more than 2.6 million cases and a death toll of 127,000, has...

Weinstein victims to receive $19 mn in settlement

New York, Jul 1 (efe-epa).- Dozens of women who were sexually abused and harassed while they were working for now-convicted US film producer Harvey...

Daily COVID-19 pandemic roundup: June 30

Miami Desk, Jun 30 (efe-epa).- Here's a roundup of stories around the world related to the novel coronavirus pandemic:

US considering another stimulus package amid huge pandemic challenge

By Alfonso Fernandez

Fauci: US could quickly jump from 40K to 100K daily Covid-19 cases

Washington, Jun 30 (efe-epa).- The top US government epidemiologist, Dr. Anthony Fauci, on Tuesday warned that the number of newly detected daily...

Ex-Pemex chief arrested in Spain agrees to be extradited to Mexico

Mexico City, Jun 30 (efe-epa).- Mexican Attorney General Alejandro Gertz Manero reported Tuesday that the former director of Mexico's state-run oil company...

Black Lives Matter protesters set up camp in New York

By Jorge Fuentelsaz

More than 100 arrested for vandalizing statues amid US protests

Washington, Jun 29 (efe-epa).- More than 100 people have been arrested for vandalizing statues and monuments amid the protests against racism and police...

Supreme Court overturns Louisiana law restricting abortion

Washington, Jun 29 (efe-epa).- The US Supreme Court on Monday overturned a law that would have severely restricted access to abortion in Louisiana, dealing...

Daily COVID-19 pandemic roundup: June 28

Miami Desk, Jun 28 (efe-epa).- Here's a roundup of stories around the world related to the novel coronavirus pandemic:

LGTB+ groups cancel marches due to pandemic, but not demands for equality

International Desk, Jun 28 (efe-epa). - The coronavirus pandemic forced the worldwide LGTB+ community to cancel in-person marches and Gay Pride parties on...

No new Florida COVID-19 record set, but Miami infections keep rising

Miami, Jun 28 (efe-epa).- After two consecutive days of setting new records for newly detected coronavirus infections, the daily number of cases confirmed...

Daily COVID-19 pandemic roundup: June 25

Miami Desk, Jun 25 (efe-epa).- Here's a roundup of stories around the world related to the novel coronavirus pandemic:

Worst Sahara dust cloud in 50 yrs endangering Caribbean air quality

San Juan/Havana, Jun 25 (efe-epa).- A good part of the Caribbean, from Cuba to Mexico, including Puerto Rico and the Lesser Antilles, this week is suffering...