US senators and Trump administration officials have reached an agreement on a massive economic stimulus bill to alleviate the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, White House official Eric Ueland said early on Wednesday.
“We have a deal,” Ueland told reporters after days of negotiations on a stimulus package expected to be worth $2 trillion.
After days of around-the-clock negotiations between senators and administration officials, a bipartisan compromise was struck over what is expected to be the largest US economic stimulus measure ever passed.
Ueland added that the text of the bill still needed to be completed. “We have either, clear, explicit legislative text reflecting all parties or we know exactly where we’re going to land on legislative text as we continue to finish.”
The bill will then go to the House, where Democrats have introduced their own proposal.
The bill’s passage came as Trump grew impatient with his administration’s decision to impose strict restrictions on all aspects of American public life as a way to stop the spread of the virus, a move recommended by US health officials that has brought the economy grinding close to a halt.
“We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself. At the end of the 15-day period, we will make a decision as to which way we want to go,” Trump wrote in an all-caps tweet on Sunday night and shared again on Monday. The 15-day period of White House guidelines to enforce physical distancing and other measures began on 16 March.
Loosening restrictions on public activities and social distancing would defy the best advice of his administration’s health officials, including Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who warned that the US has not yet experienced the worst of the pandemic.