Congress agrees on $900 billion in COVID Relief

Remigio Civitarese
Dicembre 21, 2020

"We can finally report what our nation has needed to hear for a very long time: More help is on the way", McConnell said in a video statement. "Moments ago, in consultation with our committees, the four leaders of the Senate and House finalised an agreement for another major rescue package for the American people".

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (L) walks through the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., December 16, 2020.

"While this bill is far from flawless, nor is it the bill that we would pass if Democrats had a majority in the Senate, it is a strong shot in the arm to help American families weather the storm", Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said.

"Now that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel", Powell said, referring to the new vaccines, "it would be bad to see people losing their business, their life's work in many cases, or even generations worth of work because they couldn't last another few months".

Most economists say that any further aid for small businesses should be mostly focused on keeping them alive, rather than maintaining payrolls.

Congress aims to include the coronavirus aid package in a $1.4tn spending bill to keep federal funds flowing.

Congress was working under a midnight Sunday deadline - needing to reach consensus both on assistance to hard-pressed American households and companies and on the 2021 federal budget to avoid a government shutdown.

The deal also expands eligibility under the Paycheck Protection Program for nonprofits and local newspapers, television and radio broadcasters, as well as "key modifications" to assist independent restaurants. "It'll get done before Christmas". We organized almost 60 House members to demand them and @BernieSanders did the same in the Senate.

The House was due to meet at noon on Sunday in order to take up the bill.

"I do have optimism that it'll pass", House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy told Fox Business. "I am very hopeful that we get this done today".

"I would like them to have been bigger, but they are significant and they will be going out soon", Pelosi said on the floor. "But we want to have members have enough time to review it all".

Top congressional leaders clinched a stimulus deal after months of on-again, off-again negotiations. "[The pandemic] wasn't their fault, it was the fault of China", Trump wrote. Many people ran through the $1,200 direct payment checks that had been distributed in April and May.

The bill does not provide liability protection from COVID-19 related lawsuits for businesses, universities, and health care centers, which Republicans had pushed for, or extra money for state and local governments sought by Democrats. But Democrats said they aren't finished.

He said he would push for more aid after Democratic president-elect Joe Biden took office on January 20.

The breakthrough came after negotiations between Senator Pat Toomey and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

McConnell added that Congress "will not deserve any special praise" for the last-minute agreement.

"I expect we'll get the money out by the beginning of next week", Mnuchin said, who struck an optimistic tone as he said the USA economy is "definitely in a much better position" than when Congress passed its last major relief measure in March.

"This support is unequivocally beneficial", Daly said.

Relief is on the way for Americans financially strapped during the COVID-19 crisis. We did not think tying the hands of a future Fed or treasury made any sense.

More than 317,000 Americans have already died.

"More help for who?"

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