The US Senate and the White House reached an agreement early on Wednesday on a $2 trillion rescue package for the American economy hammered by the coronavirus outbreak that killed more than 700 people and shut down large parts of the country.

The agreement, which followed five days of protracted and acrimonious negotiations that played out publicly, paves the way for the swift passage of a legislation through both chambers of congress in a few days.

The rescue package involves direct payments to Americans and relief for the jobless and is the largest in US history.

"We have a deal," Eric Ueland, White House legislative affairs director, told reporters shortly before 1 am. "We have either, clear, explicit legislative text reflecting all parties or we know exactly where we're going to land on legislative text as we continue to finish."

Earlier in the day, President Donald Trump had expressed optimism about reaching agreement. "I'm pleased to report that we are working to pass the biggest and boldest financial relief package in American history," he had told reporters at the daily White House briefing on the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. "Senators will soon, hopefully, vote on a $2 trillion bill that will deliver direct cash payments to struggling Americans. No fault of their own. This came out of nowhere. Nobody can imagine this even happened. But it's not their fault."

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