Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mcconnell (R-Ky) After Congress Reached a Deal on Its Fifth Covid-19 Relief Package, Totaling Nearly $900b.

December 22, 2020
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More help is on the way… At long last, we have the bipartisan breakthrough the country has needed.

  • THE BASICS: The package is combined with a $1.4T spending bill that will fund federal gov’t agencies through September, and includes
    • A second round of stimulus checks (a one-time direct payment of up to $600 per adult and child in households earning less than $75k/year and up to $1,200 for couples making up to $150k/year)
    • A temporary extension of an additional $300/week in unemployment benefits through Mid-March
    • More than $284B in subsidies for businesses (Paycheck Protection Program loans)
    • $45B in transportation aid for airlines, transit & highway systems
    • $25B in rental assistance and an extension of the federal eviction ban
    • $13B in increased SNAP and child nutrition benefits
  • FYI: Not everyone got everything they wanted – not included in the package is funding for cities & states that Democrats sought, or liability protections for hospitals, businesses and schools that Republicans lawmakers sought.
    • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said “this bill is a good bill” but that “anyone who thinks this bill is enough does not know what’s going on in America.”
  • BIG PICTURE: What constitutes “appropriate” COVID-19 relief is a question expected to continue far into 2021 and beyond. This bill required compromise between both political parties and congress is expected to work on another package in early 2021.
  • Something To Consider: This story underscores another reason why whichever party wins the majority in the Senate matters. Right now, the deciding two Senate seats will be determined in a Georgia run-off election – results expected the first/second week in January. If the seats are won by Democrats, they will have majority in House and Senate allowing Dems greater ability to pass the aid packages they prefer. If Republicans win the seats, they will maintain the majority in the Senate and the two major bodies of Congress will be split (as they have been in recent years).

by Jenna Lee,