President Trump signs coronavirus relief package after Senate passage

The legislation passed the Senate in a resoundingly bipartisan fashion

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Sen. Mitch McConnell on March 18, 2020
Sen. Mitch McConnell on March 18, 2020
(SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
Last Updated:
March 18, 2020 - 9:13pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

President Trump on Wednesday approved the multi-billion dollar legislation to combat the coronavirus that passed the Senate with a resoundingly bipartisan 90-8 vote.

The spending package, which will likely not be the last government effort to confront the pandemic, includes free COVID-19 testing and money for paid leave and unemployment.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, called for Republicans to support the legislation, telling them to "gag and vote for it anyway."

While he said the measure, crafted and passed in the Democrat-controlled House, had "real shortcomings," the senator also said, "I do not believe we should let perfection be the enemy of something that will help even a subset of workers."

The administration and members of Congress have expressed interest in enacting further economic measures to alleviate the financial burden Americans face during the ongoing health scare. One of the measures backed by the administration is a plan to send cash to Americans.

“We are looking at sending checks to Americans immediately," Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said on Tuesday. "And what we have heard from hardworking Americans, many companies have now shut down, whether it is bars or restaurants. Americans need cash now. And the president wants to get cash now. And I mean now in the next two weeks.