Health

US Congress passes $484 billion Covid-19 bailout, bringing total to unprecedented $1 trillion

Issued on: 23/04/2020 – 23:43Modified: 23/04/2020 – 23:43

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed a $484 billion bill to expand federal loans to small businesses impacted by the coronavirus outbreak and hospitals overwhelmed by patients suffering from COVID-19.

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The measure received solid bipartisan support in the Democratic-led House, which was meeting for the first time in weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic. Lawmakers, some of them wearing masks, had a long day of debate and voting lengthened by coronavirus safety protocols.

Representatives approved the measure by a wide bipartisan margin during an extended period of voting intended to allow members to remain at a distance from each other in line with public health recommendations.

The House action will send the latest relief bill to the White House, where Republican President Donald Trump has promised to sign it quickly into law.

The Republican-led Senate had already approved the legislation on a voice vote of just a few senators on Tuesday. But threats of opposition by some members of both parties prompted House leaders to call the full chamber back to Washington for the House vote despite state stay-at-home orders meant to control the spread of the virus.

Before voting on the coronavirus aid bill, the House approved a new select committee, with subpoena power, to probe the U.S. response to the coronavirus. It will have broad powers to investigate how federal dollars are being spent, U.S. preparedness and Trump administration deliberations.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the panel is essential to ensure funds go to those wRead More – Source