Duckworth, Durbin approve $2 trillion new coronavirus stimulus package
Illinois’ two Democratic U.S. senators joined their colleagues Wednesday night in supporting a $2 trillion bill intended to mitigate the dire financial straits caused by the pandemic.
“I believe this new agreement, some three days after the original one was proposed, is an improvement,” Dick Durbin said before the vote. “Credit should be given to both sides because Democrats and Republicans had to agree for this to make the final package.”
The plan, which passed unanimously, will provide direct payments to the majority of Americans of up to $1,200 per person, with an additional $500 per child.
It also creates a $100 billion fund for hospitals and providers to help them acquire personal protective equipment and testing supplies, hire new workers and construct new patient housing and emergency operations centers. The compromise also increases Medicare payments to hospitals and providers and makes additional investments in the nation’s Strategic National Stockpile.
Additionally, it extends unemployment benefits for four months and expands unemployment insurance to self-employed and gig economy workers. It also includes $10 billion in small business grants, $45 billion to in financial assistance to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, and $150 billion for state and local government COVID-19 relief funds.
The plan now heads to the House.
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