Coronavirus US: Senate passes £1.67trillion stimulus package – the biggest in history

The coronavirus relief bill – which is the biggest financial bailout in US history – unanimously passed through the Republican-led Senate on Wednesday. The bill proposes a fund worth £209bn ($250bn) for direct payments to US citizens, £292bn ($350bn) in loans for small businesses and £209bn ($250bn) in unemployment benefits. The package will offer families hit hardest by the economic slide with payments of up £2,511 ($3,000).

The bill has been debated in the chamber since March 14 and will move on to the House of Representatives for debate.

US President Donald Trump has already pledged to sign the landmark legislation once it is approved by the House.

Mr Trump wrote on Twitter: “96-0 in the United States Senate.

“Congratulations AMERICA!”

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy called for the bill to be passed immediately.

He said: “Every day matters so we want to get this done quickly.”

The financial package come as the number of jobless claims in the US soared to a record 3.3 million.

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The figure of claimants is almost five times higher than the previous weekly record of 695,000 from the recession of 1982.

The coronavirus epidemic continue to soar across the US with more than 67,000 people testing positive for COVID-19 across the 50 states.

The death toll in the US continues to accelerate towards 1,000 with 978 recorded fatalities.

Earlier this week Dr Margaret Harris of the World Health Organisation warned the US could become the new epicentre of the virus.

Dr Harris said: “We are now seeing a very large acceleration in cases in the US.

“So it does have that potential.”


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The stark warning comes as Mr Trump optimistically said it was possible businesses could be back up and running by Easter – the weekend of April 12.

On Tuesday, the US President said: “We’re going to be opening relatively soon.

“I would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter.”

In the UK, so far 9,529 people have tested positive for coronavirus with 465 deaths.

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