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U.S. Congress finally reaches agreement on COVID-19 stimulus package

Here's what's in the second stimulus package!

Here's what's in the second stimulus package!

America (Channel TT Desk) :COVID-19 relief package: $600 stimulus checks, $300 bonus for federal unemployment benefits in new deal. Lawmakers struck a nearly $900 billion COVID-19 stimulus deal Sunday that includes another round of stimulus checks and badly needed jobless benefits for struggling Americans, ending a long standoff in Washington with one of the biggest rescue bills in U.S. history.

After months of impasse, negotiations came down to the wire as 12 million people are set to lose unemployment benefits the day after Christmas. The deal includes restarting a $300 boost to the federal unemployment insurance benefit, extending eviction moratoriums for renters for an unspecified amount of time and a $600 direct payment to most Americans. 

Even though lawmakers reached a deal, some jobless Americans could see their unemployment benefits lapse since it may take weeks for aid to reach them due to outdated state systems, experts say.

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The measure will be tied to a $1.4 trillion must-pass spending bill that will fund federal agencies and programs through Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year.

Congress passed a one-day extension of government funding late Sunday to give lawmakers one more day to review the deal to avert a partial government shutdown deadline.

For the bill to become law, both the House and Senate must pass the legislation, and President Donald Trump will need to sign it. Both chambers are expected to debate and vote on the package Monday.

The measure contains an up to $600 direct payment to most Americans, and $600 per child, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement. That is less than the $1,200 checks approved in the spring. 

It would also include $1,200 for couples making up to $150,000 a year. The measure contains an up to $600 direct payment to most Americans, and $600 per child, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement. That is less than the $1,200 checks approved in the spring. 

It would also include $1,200 for couples making up to $150,000 a year. The government will begin to send out direct payments to millions of Americans next week, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Monday.

“People are going to see this money the beginning of next week,” Mnuchin said in a CNBC interview.

The measure would provide a federal unemployment benefit of $300 a week for up to 11 weeks through mid-March, less than the $600 provided under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act passed in March.

The bill also would give an additional federal benefit of $100 weekly to those who earned at least $5,000 a year in self-employment income, but are disqualified from receiving a more generous Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefit because they are eligible for state jobless aid, according to The New York Times. 

The agreement provides a tax credit to support employers offering paid sick leave, based on the framework of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, enacted in March, according to Pelosi and Schumer’s statement. 

Families First required many employers to provide workers with two weeks of sick leave related to COVID-19 at full pay, and up to 12 weeks of family and medical leave to care for family members at two-thirds pay.

Source Courtesy: U.S. Today