U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: $2.2trillion stimulus package passes through

Only President Donald Trump’s signature remains to activate a $2.2 trillion aid package to help American individuals and companies cope with an economic downturn caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

The huge fund, the largest in American history, will also provide hospitals with urgently needed medical supplies.

The emergency stimulus bill was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday, 48 hours after the Senate endorsed it.

Trump is expected to promptly sign it into law.

Democrats and Republicans in the Democratic-led House approved the package on a voice vote, turning back a procedural challenge from Republican Representative Thomas Massie, who had sought to force a formal, recorded vote.

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The rescue package – which would be the largest fiscal relief measure ever passed by Congress – will rush direct payments to Americans within three weeks.

The $2.2 trillion measure includes $500 billion to help hard-hit industries and $290 billion for payments of up to $3,000 to millions of families.

It will also provide $350 billion for small-business loans, $250 billion for expanded unemployment aid and at least $100 billion for hospitals and related health systems.

The rare but deep, bipartisan support in Congress underscored how seriously lawmakers are taking the global pandemic as Americans suffer and the medical system threatens to buckle.

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The United States surpassed China and Italy on Thursday as the country with the most coronavirus cases. The number of U.S. cases passed 85,000, and the death toll exceeded 1,200.

The Labor Department on Thursday said the number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits soared to 3.28 million, the highest level ever.