September 19, 2020

Coronavirus: Trump signs into law largest bailout in US history

President Trump has signed the largest-ever US financial stimulus package, worth $2tn (£1.7tn), as the country grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.

The House of Representatives passed the cross-party bill two days after the Senate debated its provisions.

On Wednesday the number of Americans filing for unemployment surged to a record high of 3.3 million people.

The US has more confirmed cases of coronavirus than any other country, with more than 100,000 positive tests.

No Democratic lawmakers were invited to the historic signing ceremony, which was held at the White House, though the president thanked both parties “for coming together, setting aside their differences and putting America first”.

Mr Trump said the package was “twice as large” as any prior relief bill.

“This will deliver urgently needed relief to our nation’s families, workers and businesses,” he said.

Just before signing the act into law, Mr Trump invoked the Defence Production Act (DPA), which gives the president the power to force private industries to create items required for national defence.

Mr Trump said the order will compel General Motors (GM) to manufacture much-needed medical ventilators for the federal government.

Earlier in the day, Mr Trump tweeted that GM had promised to “give us 40,000 much needed Ventilators, ‘very quickly’.

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