State House News Service
The largest stimulus package in modern American history cleared the Senate late Wednesday night by a unanimous margin, and the proposal to spend roughly $2 trillion in response to the coronavirus pandemic is now in the hands of the U.S House.
Shortly after 11 p.m., the Senate voted 96-0 on its version of a bill (HR 748) that would establish direct payments to many Americans, expand and fund unemployment benefits, fund corporate and small business relief, boost health care spending, and offer state and municipal governments budgetary support. Senate Democrats had objected to earlier versions of the legislation and demanded greater oversight mechanisms and family-focused aid before party leaders reached a deal with the White House. Estimates on the exact impacts are unavailable.
Gov. Charlie Baker said Wednesday he is still working through the bill, and estimates and breakdowns were not available from the offices of Sens. Elizabeth Warren nor Ed Markey.
In tweets, Warren said a $450 billion corporate relief fund has some oversight and restriction but not enough. “This is not the bill I wanted, but its immediate impacts are vital,” Warren tweeted. “They are also insufficient. We will need to do more — and soon.”
But the price of action during a health crisis shouldn’t be a $450 billion Trump Administration fund that could be used to boost favored corporations. I fought for more oversight & restrictions on this fund. We got some limits, but they are short of what’s needed.
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) March 26, 2020