After months of negotiations, and on the verge of depleting unemployment benefits, Congress and White House leaders are on the verge of reaching an agreement on the economic stimulus package for the COVID-19 pandemic, as confirmed by us sister network NBC. News.
The agreement, which has yet to be finalized, would include an economic incentive check of at least $ 600, although the amount could be larger, according to NBC. The negotiations have not yet set an income limit for the people who would receive the check.
The stimulus checks under the new $ 900 billion aid package they will be less than the $ 1,200 paid out eight months ago. However, President Donald Trump has pushed for approval of the new economic stimulus, a proposal that Politico says has received support from liberals like Senator Bernie Sanders.
On the other hand, the package would rule out the $ 160 billion proposal for state and local funding. On Tuesday evening, the four conference leaders held a conference call with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
“We are on track to develop a pandemic relief package that can be approved by both houses with a two-part majority,” said Mitch McConnell, leader of the Senate majority.
“We are determined to continue these urgent discussions until we reach an agreement, and we agree that we will not leave the city until we pass the law.”
The Senate minority leader added that they almost reach an agreement, but “It’s not a closed deal yet”.
Senator Steve Daines told CNBC the deal would include $ 300 billion for the Payment Protection Program (Paycheck Protection Program), which provides loans to small businesses. On the other hand, the controversial short-term federal protections against lawsuits related to the coronavirus, one of the issues that blocked negotiations, would be left out.
A large amount of resources would also be used to finance the distribution of the vaccine, as well as education, transportation and health care.
According to CNBC, the Senate would need unanimous support to pass the legislation Friday. However, it remains see if the Congressional Progressive Caucus will accept it a check for less than the $ 1,200 they demanded.
In early December, a $ 908 billion bipartisan proposal dropped the long-awaited $ 1,200 check, though it included as much as $ 300 a week in federal unemployment benefits and small business funding.
However, the new legislation is considering direct payments after double pressurefrom Republican Senator Josh Hawley to Democratic Congressman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, according to NBC.
Several protections against the COVID-19 pandemic are due to expire this month, including unemployment benefits which are due to expire on Dec. 26.
With information from NBC News, CNBC, Politico.