On The Money: Senate unanimously passes $2T coronavirus stimulus package | Unemployment claims surge to 3.3 million | In three-day surge, stocks recover 20 percent of losses

On The Money: Senate unanimously passes $2T coronavirus stimulus package | Unemployment claims surge to 3.3 million | In three-day surge, stocks recover 20 percent of losses
© Greg Nash

Happy Thursday and welcome back to On The Money. I’m Sylvan Lane, and here’s your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.

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THE BIG DEAL— Senate unanimously passes $2T coronavirus stimulus package: The Senate unanimously passed an approximately $2.2 trillion stimulus package late Wednesday night in an effort to jump-start an economy decimated by the coronavirus pandemic.

The bill provides aid for workers, small business and industries impacted in recent weeks by the virus. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Campaign Report: Trump, Biden spar over coronavirus response Senator Tom Coburn's government oversight legacy Schumer praises choice of Defense inspector general to oversee corporate lending fund MORE (R-Ky.) compared the efforts by Congress to combat the coronavirus to being on a “wartime footing.” 

“This is not even a stimulus package. It is emergency relief. Emergency relief. That’s what this is,” McConnell said Wednesday afternoon ahead of the vote.

The Hill’s Jordain Carney tells us how we got here.


Breaking down the bill:

  • The wide-reaching bill includes a $1,200 one-time check for individuals who make up to $75,000. That amount would scale down until it reached an annual income threshold of $99,000, where it would phase out altogether.  
  • It also provides $377 billion in small business aid, would defer federal student loan payments through Sept. 30 and would prevent money given under the bill to the Pentagon to be transferred to the border wall.  
  • Americans are being encouraged to practice social distancing, and some states have enacted wide-ranging orders to try to prevent the spread of the disease. To help address those changes, the bill also provides $100 billion for hospitals and $200 billion for other “domestic priorities,” including child care and assistance for seniors.

What comes next: Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMeadows resigns from Congress, heads to White House Pelosi floats undoing SALT deduction cap in next coronavirus bill Overnight Health Care: More states order residents to stay at home | Trump looks to sell public on coronavirus response | Judges block Ohio, Texas abortion bans | Dems eye infrastructure in next relief bill MORE (D-Calif.) said Thursday that the House will move quickly on Friday to approve the Senate's massive, $2 trillion coronavirus relief package through the lower chamber and on to President TrumpDonald John TrumpCuomo grilled by brother about running for president: 'No. no' Maxine Waters unleashes over Trump COVID-19 response: 'Stop congratulating yourself! You're a failure' Meadows resigns from Congress, heads to White House MORE, who has vowed to sign it immediately.


Read more: Congress's $2.2 trillion “phase three” economic rescue package came together in record time, but economists, workers and businesses alike are worried about how quickly relief can get out the door. The Hill’s Niv Elis tells us why here.


Unemployment claims surge to 3.3 million as coronavirus devastates economy: More than 3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week as a devastating wave of layoffs and business closures due to the coronavirus pandemic intensifies, according to data released by the Labor Department on Thursday.

Weekly claims for unemployment insurance rose to 3,283,000 between March 15 and 22, spiking from the 281,000 applications for jobless benefits filed between March 8 and 14.

The staggering rise in jobless claims comes as businesses across the U.S. shutter in a desperate bid to slow the progress of the coronavirus pandemic. Restaurants, bars, retailers, entertainment venues and nonessential businesses across the country have been closed for at least weeks, forcing millions of Americans employed in those industries into joblessness as the coronavirus spreads.

I have more here.

Read more: Many people are facing financial challenges as a result of the coronavirus and have questions about whether and how they will receive a check. The Hill answered several frequently asked questions about the checks on Wednesday. Here are answers to additional questions, such as whether people have to pay taxes on the money when they file their tax returns next year, or if people can get checks even if they haven’t filed a tax return in recent year.

In three-day surge, stocks recover 20 percent of losses: In a sweeping three-day surge unequaled in nearly 90 years, stock markets recovered almost a fifth of their lost value.

On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 1,351 points, or 6.4 percent, while the S&P 500 spiked 155 points, or 6.2 percent. The Dow's three-day gains were the largest since 1931, and the S&P's were the largest since 1933, raising markets from three-year lows.

The upswing came despite data showing a record-shattering spike in initial unemployment claims. Instead, markets focused on the Senate's passage of a $2.2 trillion economic recovery package.



  • Dyson, the company behind high-tech vacuums and hand dryers, says it has received an emergency order from the United Kingdom for 10,000 ventilators, and it has already designed a new machine.
  • State governments have spent a decade stockpiling billions of dollars in reserve funds for the next economic downturn, scarred by the steep cuts they were forced to make in the midst of the last recession. Now, with the coronavirus grinding the global economy to a virtual halt, those billions could be gone in a matter of months.