After weeks of intense negotiations, congressional leaders finally settled on a $ 900 billion coronovirus relief package that would include a second round of direct payments, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Sunday night.
Why it matters: The 11-hour deal comes just days before many of the existing coronavirus relief measures are scheduled to expire on 1 January.
state of play: Congress plans to link the final relief deal to a ubiquitous bill that must pass before the holidays. Congress plans to vote on a third consecutive resolution on Sunday night, which will give them one more day to vote on the joint package before the government closes.
- This is when lawmakers have already flown two deadlines in which the bandh was threatened.
- $ 600 incentive check per adult and child.
- $ 300 per week in increased unemployment insurance for 11 weeks.
- $ 319 billion for small businesses, including $ 284 billion for loans granted through the Paycheck Protection Program, $ 20 billion in EIDL grants, and $ 15 billion for live venue, independent movie theaters and cultural institutions.
- $ 25 billion in rental assistance and an extension of the eviction moratorium.
- $ 13 billion increase in SNAP and child nutrition benefits.
- $ 82 billion in education, with $ 10 billion dedicated to child care.
- $ 7 billion to increase access to broadband.
- Bill for vaccine delivery and COVID-19 testing.
- Language eliminating surprise billing for emergency and scheduled care.
- Extends a tax credit and employee retention tax credit to employers who are employed sick leave.
- $ 4 billion for the International Vaccine Alliance GAVI.
Politics: All parties are trying to claim this victory for their party.
- McConnell’s team is arguing that the bill is similar to the Senate majority leader’s proposal in July, and Democrats won significantly below the package’s price tag below $ 2.2 trillion, and provisioned state and local aid . .
- Democrats note that the bill is still far more expensive than many Republicans wanted, and it left McConnell’s previous red line: liability protection for businesses. It also increases the increased unemployment benefits and includes a new round of incentive checks – key democratic priorities.
- And the bipartisan group that kickstarted the final round of negotiations could point to the success of their bicameral alliance, which was used as a blueprint for the final deal.
What to see: Democratic leaders say they see the deal as a “starter” package – one that attacks Americans until Joe Biden takes office and could provide some significant impetus.
- But skeptics Biden will be able to do this easily because some Democrats, including progressivists, are projecting Democrats.
big picture: Millions of Americans and small businesses faced severe economic hardship as Congress failed to deliver another installment of relief funding for eight months.
- According to figures released by the Department of Labor, last week’s initial unemployment claims rose to 885,000, another increase from the previous week and a total of more than 800,000 claims.
- According to a Washington Post report, the US poverty rate fell to 11.7% in November, a 2.4 percentage point increase since June. This is the biggest jump in a year.
- About 12 million renters will pay back an average of $ 5,850 in Viapo and utilities by January – indicating that people are running out of money for basic needs.
- Retail spending fell 1.1% in November, the biggest drop in seven months, per AP, as spending cuts after losing the $ 600 weekly increase to unemployment checks from the federal government.
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