Government funding bill released including $900 billion COVID-19 stimulus, Congress set to vote

Washington-DC

WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — Republican U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Sunday an agreement had been reached by congressional leaders of both parties on a roughly $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill.

The package, expected to draw votes in Congress on Monday, would establish temporary $300 per week supplemental jobless benefits and $600 direct stimulus payments to most Americans, along with a new round of subsidies for hard-hit businesses and money for schools, health care providers and renters facing eviction.

“There will be another major rescue package for the American people,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said in announcing the agreement for a relief bill that would total almost $900 billion. “It is packed with targeted policies to help struggling Americans who have already waited too long.”

House leaders informed lawmakers that they would vote on the legislation on Monday, and the Senate was likely to vote on Monday, too. 

A breakthrough came late Saturday in a fight over Federal Reserve emergency powers that was resolved by the Senate’s top Democrat, Chuck Schumer of New York, and conservative Republican Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. That led to a final round of negotiations.

The final agreement is the largest spending measure yet. It combines COVID-19 relief with a $1.4 trillion government-wide funding plan and lots of other unrelated measures on taxes, health, infrastructure and education.

Late-breaking decisions would limit the $300 per week bonus jobless benefits — one half the supplemental federal unemployment benefit provided under the CARES Act in March — to 10 weeks instead of 16 weeks as before. The direct $600 stimulus payment to most people is also half the March payment, subject to the same income limits in which an individual’s payment begins to phase out after $75,000.

It would be the first significant legislative response to the pandemic since the $1.8 trillion CARES Act passed virtually unanimously in March.

President-elect Joe Biden applauded the development in a statement Sunday evening but added more work is needed.

“Immediately, starting in the new year, Congress will need to get to work on support for our COVID-19 plan, for support to struggling families, and investments in jobs and economic recovery. There will be no time to waste.”

The full text of the bill was released to the publish shortly before 2:30 p.m. EST.

Full Text of Bill

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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