Wall Street Gains as Washington Reaches Deal on $2 Trillion Aid

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Wall Street on Wednesday extended its massive bounce from the previous session as Washington reached a deal for a $2 trillion stimulus package to help businesses and millions of Americans hit by the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters reports.

Top aides to Republican President Donald Trump and senior Senate Republicans and Democrats said they had agreed on the unprecedented stimulus bill in the early hours of Wednesday, after five days of marathon talks.

“We’re going to pass this legislation later today,” Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said after the deal was announced early on Wednesday.

The Senate was due to convene at 12 p.m. EDT (1600 GMT), though timing of the vote was unclear. Trump supports the measure, the White House said.

“We’re really looking forward to this vote today so that he can sign it into law,” White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said on Fox News.

The massive bill is expected to include a $500 billion fund to help hard-hit industries and a comparable amount for direct payments of up to $3,000 apiece to millions of U.S. families.

It will also include $350 billion for small-business loans, $250 billion for expanded unemployment aid and at least $100 billion for hospitals and related health systems.

It would be the largest rescue package ever approved by Congress and the third such effort to be passed this month.

“We have greatly strengthened the bill and we’re proud of what we’ve done,” Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said on CNN. He said he thought the chamber would pass the legislation on Wednesday.

The package aims to flood the U.S. economy with cash in a bid to stem the impact of a pandemic that has killed more than 730 people in the United States and infected more than 53,470, shuttered thousands of businesses, thrown millions out of work and led states to order 100 million people – nearly a third of the population – to stay at home.

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