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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

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California surpasses 50,000 COVID-19 deaths

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California's death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 50,000 on Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: It's the first state to record more than 50,000 deaths from the coronavirus.

2 hours ago - Technology

Facebook bans Myanmar military

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Facebook said on Wednesday it would ban the rest of the Myanmar military from its platform.

The big picture: It comes some three weeks after the military overthrew the civilian government in a coup and detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi, causing massive protests to erupt throughout the country. Military leaders have been using internet blackouts to try to maintain power in light of the coup.

It's harder to fill the Cabinet

Data: Chamberlain, 2020, "United States of America Cabinet Appointments Dataset" Chart: Will Chase/Axios

It's harder now for presidents to win Senate confirmation for their Cabinet picks, an Axios data analysis of votes for and against nominees found.

Why it matters: It's not just Neera Tanden. The trend is a product of growing polarization, rougher political discourse and slimming Senate majorities, experts say. It means some of the nation's most vital federal agencies go without a leader and the legislative authority that comes with one.