Congress approves a $ 900 billion auxiliary invoice

Congress on Sunday reached an agreement on a $ 900 billion coronavirus aid package, a long-belated effort to stimulate the American healthcare system and economy collapsing under the weight of the pandemic.

Congressional leaders announced a deal on a bill that will provide new federal aid to households, small businesses and healthcare providers for the first time in months, and will provide $ 1.4 trillion in government funding through September 30 – according to Days of Start and Stop Efforts to Close a Deal. You published a piece of legislation on Monday afternoon that is to be passed before midnight.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) holds a press conference in the U.S. Capitol after the Senate Republican Politics lunch on December 15, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Caroline Brehman | Getty Images

“We finally have the bipartisan breakthrough the country needs,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Said in the Senate Sunday.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., And Senate Minority Chairman Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., called the plan a “package that provides much-needed funds to help secure the lives and livelihoods of the American people.” save when the virus accelerates. ” They called the plan inadequate and realized that they would be pushing for more relief spending soon after President-elect Joe Biden took office on Jan. 20.

U.S. Spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, wears a protective mask as she speaks during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, United States on Sunday, December 20, 2020.

Ting Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The legislature plans to pass the Aid and Financing Act on Monday.

To avoid a government shutdown, which would have started at 12:01 a.m. ET on Monday, Congress approved a one-day spending measure to turn the lights on until 12:01 a.m. ET on Tuesday. President Donald Trump signed the bill late Sunday, according to a tweet from White House spokesman Judd Deere.

The deal for one of the largest bailouts in US history follows months of snooping on Capitol Hill over how best to tackle a one-off crisis. Just two months after Congress passed the $ 2 trillion CARES bill in March, Democrats moved quickly to add trillion dollars in more support. The GOP initially downplayed the need for more aid and then took a more limited approach over the summer than the Democrats wanted.

A new round of aid cannot come soon enough for the millions of Americans who have tried to scrape together enough money to buy food and housing amid persistent public health restrictions. The coming aid will not reverse the shutdowns of small businesses across the country, nor the poverty and hunger that spread for months while Congress did not act.

“The American people have a lot to celebrate in this legislation. But of course the agreement we have reached is far from perfect,” said Schumer.

What’s in the bill

The relief plan calls for direct payments of $ 600 to most adults and $ 600 per child, Pelosi and Schumer said in a statement.

The Democrats said they would invest $ 284 billion in loans for the small business paycheck protection program and include funding for loans from small and minority lenders. Another $ 20 billion would be allocated to small business grants and $ 15 billion to live venues.

It would also add a $ 300 unemployment benefit and temporarily maintain pandemic-era programs that expand unemployment insurance eligibility. It was not immediately clear how long each of these actions would take.

If the unemployment benefit extension expires the day after Christmas, 12 million people would lose unemployment insurance.

Senate Minority (D-NY) chairman Charles Schumer speaks to reporters about an agreement on a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) relief package on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, the United States, on December 20, 2020.

Ken Cedeno | Reuters

The move should also fund the distribution of the two FDA-approved Covid-19 vaccines. Schumer said the bill would use $ 30 billion to “procure and distribute” vaccines.

Healthcare workers and senior government officials have started receiving gunfire, and widespread vaccination in the coming months will help the world come out of the shadow of the pandemic.

The bailout was also meant to relieve hospitals, many of which have struggled to keep up with a flood of Covid patients. According to Pelosi and Schumer, US $ 82 billion would flow into schools and universities and the Pell grants increased.

The plan provides $ 25 billion in rental support and extends a federal eviction moratorium for an unspecified period, according to Democrats.

The measure aims to strengthen low-income housing, earned income and tax credits for children. It would also pour $ 13 billion into the enhanced benefits of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

The plan includes $ 45 billion in transportation, including $ 15 billion in airline payroll assistance.

The deal came about after a last-minute battle over a Republican-backed provision that would have restricted the Federal Reserve’s emergency lending powers. Legislators eventually reached an agreement to wind down the credit facilities created by the CARES law at the end of the year, use more than $ 400 billion for the remaining programs, and prohibit the creation of identical provisions in the future.

The deal comes too late for the nearly 8 million people who have fallen into poverty since June. Many congressmen say the proposal won’t go far enough to address the scale of the health and economic crises.

Progressives and some Republicans have pushed for larger direct payments and retroactive federal unemployment payments. A weekly $ 600 surcharge, which boosted millions of unemployed Americans in the early months of the pandemic, expired in the summer and took months before Congress agreed to reinstate it.

Schumer stressed that the Democrats would push for more relief in the new year. Your ability to pass another bill will be shaped by the Georgia Senate’s two runoff elections on January 5th that will determine whether the GOP retains control of the chamber.

In a statement, Biden said the $ 900 billion plan “provides critical temporary assistance” but “is only the beginning”.

“Starting in the new year, Congress must work immediately to support our COVID-19 plan, support families in difficulty and invest in jobs and economic recovery,” he said. “There will be no time to waste.”

Schumer signaled that they would again seek help from state and local governments, a provision many Republicans support but McConnell opposes.

The Senate majority leader has called for corporate liability coverage, but lawmakers brushed both issues aside during year-end talks. Both are likely to come up in the next round of talks after Congress passes the $ 900 billion package.

“It can not be the last word to ease Congress,” said Schumer of the bill.

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