The White House and Senators came to terms early Wednesday on a roughly $2 trillion stimulus measure – the biggest of its kind in U.S. history – aimed at delivering emergency financial support to businesses and individuals reeling from the coronavirus pandemic.
“This is a wartime level of investment into our nation,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said after a deal was struck. “The men and women of the greatest country on Earth are going to defeat this coronavirus and reclaim our future. And the Senate is going to make sure they have the ammunition they need to do it,” he said.
The stimulus amounts to about 9 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. About $300 billion of the money will go to small businesses, and $150 billion to local and state governments, according to the New York Times.
Administration officials told the paper they hope the $2 trillion package would yield up to $4 trillion in economic benefits.
The fallout from the pandemic has battered the broader economy, and real estate has felt its effects acutely: the commercial mortgage-backed securities market is on ice, and many are predicting a wave of defaults in the retail, hotel and office markets. At least one major deal for a New York skyscraper has fallen apart, and observers expect many more deals to fall through over the coming weeks. On the residential side, the Mortgage Bankers Association said that borrowers falling behind on payments as a result of the disruption and mass layoffs could mean that mortgage companies will be on the hook for at least $75 billion on short notice, and possibly more than $100 billion. And a clause related to the virus is increasingly finding its way into residential sales deals.