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Bullet policy · Dec 21, 2020

Lawmakers Reach Deal on COVID-19 Relief

After months of unfruitful negotiations, congressional leaders reached an agreement on a $900 billion coronavirus stimulus package over the weekend.

“More help is on the way. Moments ago, in consultation with our committees, the four leaders of the Senate and House finalized an agreement. It would be another major rescue package for the American people,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

The aid package includes $20 billion for vaccine distribution; $325 billion in economic relief for small businesses, including $284 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program and an additional $20 billion for grants; $82 billion for schools; unemployment benefit extensions of $300 per week through March 2021; and up to $600 direct payments to individuals. The bill leaves out the two controversial measures that had drawn out relief negotiations—aid for state and local governments, which the Democrats had been pushing for, and liability protections for business, a GOP priority. The legislative text of the bill is expected to be released later today.

Lawmakers have also reached a deal on a $1.4 trillion fiscal year 2021 appropriations omnibus. After a series of stopgap funding extensions over the last two weeks, the spending package is expected to pass before midnight today along with the stimulus.