White House seeks $850B economic stimulus for virus response


WASHINGTON (AP) – The White House is proposing a roughly $850 billion emergency stimulus to address the economic cost of the new coronavirus. The request will be outlined to Senate Republicans on Tuesday.

It will aim to provide relief for small businesses and the airline industry and propose a massive tax cut for wage-earners.

The White House hopes the measure will pass this week, as the administration scrambles to contain the economic fallout of the severe disruptions to American life from the outbreak.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell opened the Senate on Tuesday with a promise for swift action. He says the Senate won’t adjourn until it acts.

The Federal Reserve says it will buy short-term loans from banks and companies to support the flow of credit as the economy grinds to a halt amid the viral outbreak.

The Fed is reviving a program that it first used during the 2008 financial crisis to unclog a short-term lending market for what is known as “commercial paper.”

Large businesses issue commercial paper to raise cash to meet payrolls and cover other short-term costs.

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