Congress Approves Covid Relief Including $600 Stimulus Checks

After months of failing to reach a consensus, leaders in Congress have finally arrived at a compromise agreement for a Covid stimulus plan. Both the House and the Senate are scheduled to vote on Monday in favor of the second-largest economic relief bill in history after negotiations heated up over the weekend. The delay also caused a third temporary government funding measure to avert a partial shutdown, which has been looming for several weeks.

The economic stimulus will be tacked onto a $1.4 trillion government funding bill which is effective through the end of the federal fiscal year. Both Congress and the Senate are expected to pass the bill by Monday afternoon. The White House stated President Trump will also sign it.

The package includes a $600 one-time federal stimulus payment for many individuals as well as $600 per child, plus a $300 weekly supplement for unemployment assistance, payable through March 2021, with extensions for long-term jobless individuals and independent gig workers. The plan also covers $284 billion for paycheck protections and forgivable small business loans, added supplemental food assistance, aid for US airline carriers and vaccine programs for schools.

The $900 billion economic relief negotiations led to compromises on both sides. It does not include local and state aid that Democrats pushed for, or lawsuit protections which Republicans wanted. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a statement saying, “at long last we have the bipartisan breakthrough the country has needed.”