US President Donald Trump has signed the largest economic stimulus package in history worth about $2 trillion to rescue the nation from the clutches of the coronavirus pandemic after Congress in a rare show of unity passed it.
The relief package was enacted on Friday (27 March) as the US recorded 103,942 coronavirus cases during a week in which 3.3 million people officially registered as unemployed.
A total of 1,693 people have died in the US due to the disease.
The highlight of the package, which amounts to almost 10 per cent of the US GDP, is an outright payment of $1,200 each to almost all adults in the country and $500 each to most children to help them tide over the crisis.
After months of confrontation and invectives capped by Trump's impeachment, the two parties came together to approve the recovery package by voice vote on Friday (27 March) in the House of Representatives and unanimously in the Senate on Wednesday.
"I want to thank Republicans and Democrats for coming together, setting aside their differences, and putting America first,” Trump said during the signing of the bill.
Later at a news briefing, he said he expected another emergency relief package for the nation's economy crushed by the closing of businesses as a preventive measure against the spread of the coronavirus and the rising medical costs.
The relief package includes aid for businesses, the allocation for medical efforts against the coronavirus, food assistance, extended unemployment benefits and help for states and local governments.
It was passed by a voice vote in the House as many of the 435 representatives could not be present because they were stuck in their constituencies either due to self-quarantine or cancellation of flights.
The Senate had earlier passed the legislation for the package after more than a week of haggling between the White House and the Democrats.
(With inputs from IANS)
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