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House passes $2.2 trillion rescue package, rushes it to Trump
President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference at the White House on Friday, March 13, 2020. (Screengrab from live broadcast)

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WASHINGTON — Acting with exceptional resolve in an extraordinary time, the House rushed President Donald Trump a $2.2 trillion rescue package Friday, tossing a life preserver to a U.S. economy and health care system left flailing by the coronavirus pandemic.

The House approved the sweeping measure by a voice vote, as strong majorities of both parties lined up behind the most colossal economic relief bill in the nation's history. It will ship payments of up to $1,200 to millions of Americans, bolster unemployment benefits, offer loans, grants and tax breaks to businesses large and small and flush billions more to states, local governments and the nation's all but overwhelmed health care system.

“Today we've all acknowledged our nation faces an economic and health emergency of historic proportions,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

President Donald Trump said he would sign the bill immediately.

U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Gainesville, released the following statement about the bill's passing:

“In recent weeks, this crisis has devastated our families, our communities, and our entire way of life. Americans are suffering, our health care workers are exhausted, and businesses are struggling. Americans need relief, and they need it now.

“We are battling an unprecedented global crisis, and it calls for an unprecedented response. While no legislation is perfect, I’m glad Congress could come together to send this package to the President’s desk to quickly deliver the relief our country desperately needs.

“The CARES Act will provide families with immediate support by putting cash in their pockets. It will protect Americans’ livelihoods by keeping workers employed, and helping businesses stay afloat to ensure American workers have jobs to come back to. This package stands up for our heroes fighting on the frontlines by ensuring our nurses, doctors, and countless health care professionals have the resources they need to continue saving lives.

“When faced with a challenge, America always rises to the occasion. I’m proud of the way our country has rallied together to support one another in the face of this crisis, and I’m proud we can finally deliver the quick relief Americans have been asking for. We will beat this virus, and our nation will emerge stronger than ever before.”