Countless shops have to close, factories are shut down, entire cities are almost closed off: The corona virus is currently hitting the United States with considerable force. Not only does this have a massive impact on the everyday life of many US citizens, it also hits the country’s economy hard. The U.S. Senate has now adopted the largest rescue package in U.S. history to combat the economic and social impact of the corona pandemic.
The Chamber of Congress voted on Wednesday evening (local time) with a clear majority for the measures with a volume of around two trillion dollars (around 1.85 trillion euros). The emergency aid package, which provides massive support for the population and the economy, has yet to be approved by the House of Representatives and signed by President Donald Trump. In the end, there had been lengthy disputes about the precise cutting of the aid.
The package includes checks of $ 1200 for US citizens, quick help for small businesses, and multi-billion dollar loans for corporations affected by the corona crisis. More than $ 100 billion will also go to hospitals and health care, and more than $ 100 billion to the states, cities and communities. Payments and the duration of unemployment benefits will also be expanded.
A vote of the House of Representatives is due to take place this Friday. The exact composition of the package was initially unclear because the legal text had not yet been published.
An important part of the stimulus package, according to the Democrats, is loans for small and medium-sized businesses totaling up to $ 350 billion, which can be canceled later on certain terms. In addition, there should be direct payments to most taxpayers. The package is also expected to provide around $ 150 billion each to strengthen the health sector and support particularly affected countries. The Treasury also had $ 500 billion available for additional corporate emergency loans, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.
The first current unemployment figures are expected
A first outlook on the aftermath of the crisis is expected on Thursday (1:30 p.m. CET) when the Washington Department of Labor will release the latest weekly figures on initial jobless claims. Analysts are expecting a dramatic increase as a result of the recent worsening of the crisis in the United States.
“It will be a very high increase,” admitted Trump’s economic advisor, Larry Kudlow, on Wednesday. California state governor Gavin Newsom said a million new applications had been received last week. The initial applications are an indicator of the short-term development of the labor market in the world’s largest economy. In the previous week, they had risen by 70,000 to 281,000 in the United States.
President Trump needs a thriving US economy to stand a good chance of reelection in November. Not least because of this, despite the rapidly increasing number of cases, he is pushing for a quick return to normality in his country. Numerous experts, including those from his own team of advisors, have warned against an all-clear signal.