Trump’s coronavirus economic aid package could approach $1 trillion, senators say


By The Associated Press

via The Oregonian - Mar 17, 2020


WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is asking Congress to unleash a torrent of emergency economic aid — including direct checks to Americans — an effort unseen since the Great Recession to shore up households and the economy amid the coronavirus crisis.


Trump wants checks out to the public within two weeks as part of what officials said could approach a $1 trillion package. Congressional leaders vowed swift action. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin appeared on Capitol Hill to brief Senate Republicans as state and local officials acted more forcefully to restrict gatherings and mobility in the face of growing sickness.


“We want to go big," Trump said at a White House briefing. “We want to get it done and have a big infusion.”


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promised the Senate would not adjourn until the package was passed.


“Obviously, we need to act,” McConnell said after meeting White House officials at the Capitol.


But first, McConnell said, the Senate will vote on the House's $100 billion package of sick pay, emergency food and free testing that's on track for Trump's signature.


After a savage drop at the start of the week, the stock market rose during Trump's briefing as he and aides sketched out elements of the economic rescue package.


Bigger than the 2008 bank bailout or the 2009 recovery act, the White House proposal aims to provide a massive tax cut for wage-earners, $50 billion for the airline industry and $250 billion for small businesses.


Two people familiar with the request described it to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak publicly...