WASHINGTON—Nine weeks after Congress approved its largest-ever economic relief measure to counter the coronavirus pandemic, most of the direct cash assistance aimed at keeping the economy afloat has been spent or committed.

The so-called Cares Act included a projected $1.2 trillion in direct aid, ranging from expanded unemployment benefits and forgivable business loans to cash payments for households, hospitals, cities and states. Congress topped up that sum in April with an additional $400 billion for small businesses and…

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