Donald Trump wants to transfer up to $ 1,200 to his citizens. The package, which contains even more comprehensive measures, should be launched this Monday. But that is not certain yet.
The gigantic US aid package planned to combat the corona crisis has failed in the Senate for the time being. In a first vote on procedural questions, the opposition Democrats refused to give their approval on Sunday: instead of the necessary 60, there were only 47 votes in favor and just as many votes against. The final vote on the aid package, which can cost up to two trillion dollars, should actually take place on Monday.
Earlier, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had raised hopes that the package could be passed in parliament on Monday. “We work around the clock,” Mnuchin said on Sunday in conversation with Fox 5 before the vote. Rapid action is necessary to prevent an economic slump. “We need the money now,” said Mnuchin.
Agreement not clear, however
However, Democratic opposition leader in the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, has dampened expectations that Congress would approve the US government’s proposed aid package as early as Monday. “In my view, we are still apart,” she said.
As part of the stimulus package, most taxpayers are expected to receive a check for $ 1,200, among other things, there should be an additional $ 500 per child. According to a proposal from the US Treasury Department, around $ 500 billion should be spent on such direct aid alone.
With the stimulus package, the US government also wants to help small and medium-sized companies with loans. In addition, around $ 110 billion is expected to flow into the healthcare sector and unemployment benefits will be significantly improved in the face of layoffs. Loans are also said to exist for large companies such as the aviation group Boeing.
US Senator: “We should be kicked in the ass”
Leading senators from both parties had already said on Saturday that the negotiations were making good progress. Senator Lindsey Graham, who is considered to be Trump’s close confidante, told Fox News on Sunday that Parliament must act now to win the war against the virus: “If we don’t do it now, we should come and kick us to step.”
Hospitals would get significantly more resources to ensure that they would not be overwhelmed by the virus. In allusion to World War II, Graham said “the virus is Germany” and had to be killed.
Trump sends emergency hospitals to affected countries
In a press conference on Sunday, US President Donald Trump also ordered emergency hospitals to be dispatched to the New York, Washington, and California states, which are particularly affected by the novel coronavirus. The civil protection agency FEMA and the armed forces would begin delivering the hospitals within the next 48 hours, Trump said in the White House on Sunday. This should initially provide around 1,000 additional hospital beds in New York, 2,000 in California and 1,000 in Washington.
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The US military’s “Mercy” hospital ship, with another 1,000 beds, is scheduled to go into service in Los Angeles in about a week to relieve local hospitals, Trump said. In addition, he released the deployment of the National Guard for the affected states and imposed an extraordinary emergency, Trump said. Due to the emergency, the federal government can
Analysts fear a recession
Trump had already said on Friday that if the first direct aid payments were not enough, additional payments to the citizens could be decided in a further step. The exact extent of the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic is not yet clear. However, many analysts now fear a recession.
According to US Vice President Mike Pence, more than 30,000 Americans have so far been tested positive for the virus under the federal agency’s program. There were a total of 254,000 tests. Local tests are not included in the figures. Around 100 million of 330 million inhabitants are now affected by more or less harsh curfews. Such restrictions existed in California, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Ohio and Louisana.