Congress has agreed on a $ 900 billion pandemic relief package.



On Sunday, Democrats and Republicans finally agreed on a $ 900 billion package of measures to help the US economy amid the pandemic. The new law is due to be approved by the House of Representatives, Senate and signed in the White House this week, as the previous $ 2 trillion stimulus package signed in late March expires on December 26.

The U.S. stock market kicks off amid some good news this week as congressional leaders agreed on Sunday to adopt a package of measures to help American families, unemployed people, businesses and states amid the dire COVID-19 pandemic.

This is the second bill with a $ 900 billion stimulus package to stimulate the economy in a recession and pandemic (“CARES 2”) after the US government passed the $ 2 trillion CARES bill in late March.

The deal this weekend was preceded by nearly seven months of congressional negotiations, as Democrats called for the next $ 3.4 trillion in budget funding. just two months after the adoption of the CARES Act. The GOP has called for a more limited package of measures and $ 1 trillion in funding.

Some of the measures, such as an additional weekly allowance of $ 600 for unemployed Americans and deferred student loan payments, expired several months ago.

The rest of CARES will expire this Saturday, December 26, including: payments to Americans who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, a moratorium on evictions, paid sick leave, and aid to state and local governments.

Officials said the CARES 2 bill could be put to a vote as early as Monday, although lawmakers will have little time to familiarize themselves with the more than 3,000 pages of the bill.

While the bill is “not perfect,” congressional officials have said it is highly likely to be approved by the House of Representatives, Senate and signed in the White House this week.

At the same time, Democrats note that CARES 2 provisions will be expanded after the Democratic President-elect Joe Biden takes office on January 20.

In a statement, Biden said the $ 900 billion plan “provides critical temporary support,” but “this is just the beginning,” and work will continue “as soon as the new year begins.”

“Anyone who thinks this bill is enough does not know what is happening in America,” Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer told a news conference.

Here’s what the new CARES 2 help package includes

  • most Americans receive direct payments of $ 600 and $ 600 per child;

  • unemployed will receive additional payments of $ 300 per week;

  • $ 284 billion will be allocated to small business lending under the Payroll Protection Program, including $ 20 billion in small business grants.

  • $ 82 billion in additional aid to public schools and colleges;

  • $ 45 billion for the transport industry, including $ 15 billion for airline wages.

  • $ 30 billion will be used to purchase and distribute vaccines.

  • $ 25 billion in rental assistance;

  • the extension of the moratorium on evictions for an indefinite period;

  • $ 13 billion in food aid;

  • $ 7 billion to expand access to broadband.

These measures, together with the efforts of the Central Bank and the initiated COVID-19 vaccination program, should improve the situation in the US labor market and in the overall economy in order to accelerate the country’s recovery from recession.

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