US lawmakers agreed on a nearly $900 billion Covid-19 relief package for millions of Americans on Sunday, in a deal that follows months of wrangling and comes as the nation battles the world’s largest coronavirus outbreak.
The package includes aid for vaccine distribution and logistics, extra jobless benefits of $300 per week, and a new round of $600 stimulus checks — half the amount provided in checks distributed in March under the CARES Act.
Months of partisan debate and finger-pointing, as well as last-minute negotiations, culminated in a deal lawmakers said they hoped to formally approve on Monday.
Talks had taken place amid a highly contentious campaign for the US presidency and Donald Trump’s subsequent refusal to concede defeat to Democrat Joe Biden.
“We’ve agreed to a package of nearly $900 billion. It is packed with targeted policies to help struggling Americans who have already waited too long,” Republican Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement.
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer confirmed an agreement had been reached with Republicans and the White House on a deal that “delivers urgently needed funds to save the lives and livelihoods of the American people as the virus accelerates.”
The agreement also contains $25 billion in housing aid to prevent evictions and nearly $100 billion to help schools and childcare facilities re-open, a statement from Pelosi and Schumer said. Channels TV