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Congress Strikes Long-Sought Stimulus Deal to Provide $900 Billion in Aid

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WASHINGTON – Congressional leaders reached an agreement on Sunday on a $ 900 billion stimulus package that will provide direct payments and unemployment aid to struggling Americans, as well as much-needed funding for small businesses, hospitals, schools and vaccine distribution The pandemic-ravaged economy is overcoming the months-long stalemate in a strengthening measure.

Kentucky Republican Senator and majority leader Senator Mitch McConnell announced the deal on Sunday night in the Senate, stating, “We can finally report what our nation has heard for a long time: More aid is on the way. ”

The deal, which came after a renewed spate of talks broke a partisan backlog that had lasted since the summer, came hours before the federal government ran out of funds. According to the draft, it should be merged with a major global spending measure that will fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year, creating a $ 2.3 trillion giant that will be the final big act of Congress before passing for the year is adjourned.

Even so, Congress was at the height of its dysfunction despite preparing to pass a follow-up, given so little time to complete it that lawmakers were exposed to a series of biases to get them across the finish line . Given the additional time it took to turn their agreement into law, both chambers were expected to approve a one-day emergency spending bill later on Sunday – their third temporary extension in the past 10 days – to allow the government to shut down during the close of the Avoid contract.

The House was able to vote on the final package of spending on Monday, and the Senate should follow shortly afterwards.

While the text was not immediately available, the agreement was supposed to provide for $ 600 stimulus payments to American adults and children, and revive the federal additional $ 300 per week unemployment benefit – half of the aid provided by the US $ 2.2 trillion economic stimulus bill passed in March The devastating health and economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic was just coming into focus.

It would renew two federal unemployment programs that add to the regular benefits and would have expired next week without action from Congress. The deal will most likely provide rental and food aid, billions of dollars for schools and small businesses, and revitalize the Paycheck Protection Program, a federal loan program that expired earlier this year.

Updated

Apr. 20, 2020, 5:07 pm ET

In particular, the final compromise lacked the two most difficult political obstacles that had stood in the way for months. To get a deal just before Christmas and allow Congress to adjourn, Republicans agreed to drop comprehensive coronavirus liability coverage and Democrats agreed to ditch a direct stream of aid to state and local governments.

While the deal represented a triumphant moment in talks that had long stalled, it was far tighter than the one the Democrats had long insisted on and almost twice as large as any Republicans ever had in the days leading up to the deal had accepted the November election. Democrats had refused for months to scale back their demands for a multitrillion dollar package, citing the devastating number of the virus, and Republicans cracked down on another large infusion of federal aid, indicating the growing deficit.

Alluding to conservative concerns about the overall price of a package, legislation is expected to recycle more than $ 500 billion previously allocated under previous stimulus packages, McConnell said.

But in the end, the key breakthrough came just before midnight on Saturday when Republicans abandoned efforts to ban the Federal Reserve from setting up certain emergency loan programs to stabilize the economy in the future.

Pennsylvania Republican Senator Patrick J. Toomey made a last-minute push to prevent the Fed and the Treasury Department from setting up a loan program similar to the one launched earlier this year that helped boost lending to community, corporate and medium-sized companies continue to flow to business borrowers in times of crisis. After a series of talks between him and New York Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader, the agreed alternative would only ban programs that were more or less exact imitators of those that were newly hired in 2020.

At nearly $ 1 trillion, the package was one of the largest federal relief efforts in American history. The resulting compromise, however, fell far short of what most economists believed necessary to shake the shuddering economy and would give President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., who pushed for the compromise, the task of unifying Another important industry to look for aid package when he takes office in January.

The relief plan is combined with a total spending bill of $ 1.4 trillion. Includes the 12 annual budget bills to fund all federal ministry and Social Security Network programs, plus a number of legislators that are annexed to lawmakers to ensure their priorities can be set before Congress adjourns the year.

Mr McConnell said the two parties were still finalizing the text for dinner in Washington, and he did not say when they would officially introduce or put any bill to the vote.

“I’m confident we can do this as soon as possible,” said McConnell.

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