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Trump signs huge rescue package into law

2020-03-28 HKT 04:46
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  • President Donald Trump hands a pen to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell  after signing the coronavirus stimulus relief package. Photo: AP
    President Donald Trump hands a pen to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell after signing the coronavirus stimulus relief package. Photo: AP
US President Donald Trump signed into law a US$2 trillion rescue plan on Friday to salvage an economy crippled by coronavirus, after the historic measure that delivers cash to suffering Americans cleared Congress.

"I want to thank Democrats and Republicans for coming together and putting America first," the president said shortly before signing the historic bill in the Oval Office.

“This will deliver urgently needed relief," Trump said as he signed the bill, flanked only by Republican lawmakers.

Earlier, the House gave near-unanimous approval by voice vote after an impassioned session conducted along the social distancing guidelines imposed by the crisis.

The Senate passed the bill unanimously late on Wednesday.

The US$2.2 trillion legislation will speed government payments of US$1,200 to most Americans and increase jobless benefits for millions of people thrown out of work.

Businesses big and small will get loans, grants and tax breaks. It will send unprecedented billions to states and local governments, and the nation's all but overwhelmed health care system.

Trump enacted the largest federal economic intervention in US history on a day the nation saw a record 18,000 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infection, and US deaths neared 1,500. (AFP, AP)