Congress Reaches Agreement On $900B COVID-19 Stimulus Package

U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is seen at the U.S. Capitol at night after negotiators sealed a deal for COVID relief Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, in Washington. Top Capitol Hill negotiators sealed a deal Sunday on an almost $1 trillion COVID-19 economic relief package, finally delivering long-overdue help to businesses and individuals and providing money to deliver vaccines to a nation eager for them. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have made headway in providing much needed relief to the American people. On Sunday, Congress reached a final agreement on a $900 billion COVID-19 bill.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) celebrated the move while noting the package will provide relief to citizens as we approach the final stretch of the pandemic.

“It is packed with targeted policies that help struggling Americans who have waited entirely too long,” McConnell said. “For workers at the hardest hit small businesses, there will be a targeted second draw of the Paycheck Protection Program,” he added.

The bill includes $325 billion in business relief, with $280 billion going towards the Paycheck Protection Program. For those who lost their jobs as a result of the global health crisis, $300 will be added to unemployment benefits through March 14.

Congress also agreed to $25 billion for emergency assistance to tenants who are behind on rent. Additionally, a federal moratorium on evictions is also set to be extended for another month.

Perhaps the question most Americans are asking is: will there be another round of stimulus checks?

“So at the particular request of and emphasis of President Trump and his administration, our agreement will provide another round of direct impact payments to help households make ends meet and continue our economic recovery,” McConnell said.

In a last minute decision, Congress agreed to a one-time direct payment of $600 to those making less than $75,000 a year, or $150,000 as a couple.

With this round, children under the age of 16 will also be getting $600. However, similar to last time, many college students will not be getting a check as dependents over the age of 16 do not qualify.

Sen. Josh Hawley (D-Mo.) criticized his colleagues, saying the proposal is not enough. “It is a step, a step in the right direction, but it is only a step,” he stated.



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