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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell leaves a meeting in the Strom Thurmond Room during negotiations in Washington, D.C. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

After days of intense negotiations, the White House and Republican and Democratic Senate leaders struck a bipartisan deal early Wednesday over a $2 trillion stimulus package designed to ease the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

Why it matters: The emergency legislation that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) promised to pass later Wednesday will deliver vital aid to workers, small businesses, corporations and health care providers under strain from the illness, which has infected more than 55,000 people in the U.S. and killed more than 800.

The state of play: White House legislative affairs director Eric Ueland told reporters just before 1 a.m. that a deal had been reached but the bill's text was still being finalized.

  • "Ladies and gentlemen, we are done. We have a deal," Ueland said.

Between the lines: Democrats nearly derailed negotiations over the weekend to secure key provisions in the Senate Republican bill — and those efforts seemed to have paid off.

  • The new stimulus measure includes several priorities Democrats pushed for, including more money for hospitals, increased worker protections, strict oversight of how the money is being spent, more state funding, expanded unemployment insurance and the creation of a "Marshall Plan" for the health care system.

Here's what is expected to be in the final bill, though specifics are subject to change because its final text has yet to be distributed:

  • Direct payments: The bill would distribute up to $1,200 to Americans in the form of a one-time direct deposit, $2,400 for couples, and $3,000 for family of four. The payments will be phased out based on income levels.
  • Small businesses will get $367 billion to keep making payroll while workers have to stay home. "Companies with 500 or fewer employees could tap up to $10 million each in forgivable small business loans to keep paychecks flowing," the AP notes.
  • Federally guaranteed loans will provide eight weeks of assistance for qualifying employers who maintain payroll. Those who meet requirements would have costs such as utilities, mortgage interest and rent forgiven.
  • Unemployment benefits: $600 per week would be added to normal state benefits for up to four months with an extra 13 weeks of benefits — adding up to 39 weeks of regular unemployment insurance "through the end of 2020." The coverage would be effective Jan. 27. The deal extends to gig economy workers, Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva notes.
  • Health care and social services: $242 billion would be set aside "in additional emergency appropriations to fight the virus and shore up for safety net programs," per the AP. It'll fund public health providers including hospitals, the CDC, child nutrition programs, food stamps and transportation agencies.
  • Industry: The final number for big businesses like airlines is still up in the air, but Republicans are seeking $500 billion in loans. Provisions against potential employer abuses are also still subject to negotiations.
  • Payroll taxes: The measure enables individuals to defer payment of their 2020 payroll taxes until 2021 and 2022.
  • States and local governments will get $150 billion, with $8 billion set aside for tribal governments.

The timing: The delay in delivering a final version of the legislation "came, in part, because aides launched a painstaking scrub of the bill’s text, to make sure that one of the most ambitious pieces of legislation ever attempted by Congress — thrown together in little over a week — actually said what lawmakers wanted it to say," the Washington Post reports.

  • Senate aides say a final bill will be released in the next few hours, and a vote on the bill is expected later today.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she wants to pass the measure in the House via unanimous consent. If there's no opposition to the deal, the bill will fly through the chamber — potentially as soon as today, though a vote Thursday is more likely.
  • However, if just one member objects, the House could be forced to return from recess to vote on the legislation in person.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details.

Go deeper

Updated 51 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director says number of U.S. Omicron cases "likely to rise" — Two years of COVID-19 — Prior coronavirus infections may not protect well against Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Data demonstrates most-vaccinated counties less vulnerable to worst of COVID — Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate.
  4. World: Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles downWHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Vulnerable Democrats: Less Trump talk

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Vulnerable House Democrats are convinced they need to talk less about the man who helped them get elected: President Trump.

Why it matters: Democrats are privately concerned nationalizing the 2022 mid-terms with emotionally-charged issues — from Critical Race Theory to Donald Trump's role in the Jan. 6 insurrection — will hamstring their ability to sell the local benefits of President Biden's Build Back Better agenda.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Bipartisan tributes flood in for "giant of the Senate" Bob Dole

Then-Vice President Joe Biden and former Sen. Bob Dole at an event put on by the World Food Program where he was awarded the first “McGovern-Dole Leadership Award” in December 2013. Photo: Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call

Republican and Democratic politicians, including former Senate colleagues, are sharing condolences and memories commemorating the life of Bob Dole, who passed away at 98 on Sunday morning.

The big picture: Dole, the Republican presidential nominee in 1996, was the longest serving Republican leader in the Senate until 2018, when current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell surpassed his record.