US stimulus package includes US$350 billion for job restoration and retention

US stimulus package includes US$350 billion for job restoration and retention

US President Donald Trump passed an historic US$2.2 trillion (AUD$3.56 trillion) stimulus package on Friday night after it was passed by the House, including hundreds of billions of dollars for keeping Americans in jobs and supporting the unemployed.

Under the CARES Act $350 billion (AUD$566 billion) has been slated for job restoration and retention, while loan forgiveness will be available for those businesses that continue paying their workers.

The president highlighted US$300 billion (AUD485 billion) in direct cash payments would be made to citizens earning less than US$99,000 (AUD$160,206) per year.

This translates to US$3,400 (AUD$5,502) for a typical family of four.

The act also entails approximately US$250 billion (AUD$404 billion) in expanded unemployment benefits, which will mean the average worker who has lost their job will receive four full monthly salaries.

NBC News reports Trump thanked Republicans and Democrats for "coming together and putting America first".

"We got hit by the invisible enemy and we got hit hard. I think we are going to have a tremendous rebound," he was quoted as saying.

There are now 140,886 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 2,436 deaths from the virus in the United States, of which more than 1,000 have been in New York State. 

Dr Anthony Fauci, who is one of the heads of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, has warned the virus could end up killing up to 200,000 Americans. 

The president has also extended social distancing-related restrictions will be extended across the country until at least 30 April.

Updated at 11:27am AEDT on 30 March 2020.

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