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EU passes $2.1 trillion budget, coronavirus package, in political negotiations like those in U.S.

Congress now now trying to pass another coronavirus stimulus package

Updated: July 21, 2020 - 2:48pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

European Union leaders reached a deal Tuesday on an unprecedented roughly $2.1 trillion budget and coronavirus recovery fund – a hard-fought effort that parallels similar efforts in the United States. 

The deal was reached after four days and nights of political wrangling and marked one the longest EU summits in history, according to the Associated Press.

The 27 leaders committed to a massive aid package for those hit hardest by the pandemic, which has resulted in huge economic problems and the death of roughly 135,000 people within the bloc of European nations.

“Extraordinary events, and this is the pandemic that has reached us all, also require extraordinary new methods,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

To confront the biggest recession in its history, the EU will establish a 750 billion-euro coronavirus fund, partly based on common borrowing, to be sent as loans and grants to the hardest-hit countries. That is in addition to the agreement on the seven-year, 1 trillion-euro EU budget that leaders had been haggling over for months even before the pandemic, the wire service also reports.

In the United States, Congress has already passed coronavirus relief legislation worth trillions of dollars and is now trying to reach a bipartisan deal for more, as enhanced unemployment benefits are set to expire by month’s end. The Democrat-controlled House has already passed new legislation, the CARES Act, and the GOP-controlled Senate is now considering its version.