Trump signs huge new economic relief spending package

By: AFP      Published: 10:20 PM, 24 Apr, 2020
Trump signs huge new economic relief spending package

President Donald Trump on Friday signed a nearly half-trillion dollar relief package for the US economy in the latest bid to stave off the crushing effects of the coronavirus shutdown.

The package will pump another $483 billion of government funds into the world's biggest economy. A majority of the money, which follows a $2.2 trillion rescue fund enacted in March, will be sent to small businesses.

The bill was passed by the lower house of Congress on Thursday as another 4.4 million US workers filed new claims for jobless benefits, bringing the total to 26.4 million since mid-March.

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Unemployment has rocketed as much of the nation shut down to stall the spread of the virus, which has taken more than 50,000 lives across the country since February.

The new package provides $320 billion for small businesses to keep their doors open and pay their workers, after the initial $349 billion in a Paycheck Protection Program was drained in just two weeks.

The new funding also provides $75 billion for hospitals, $25 billion to expand virus testing and $60 billion in disaster recovery loans and grants.