Congressional leaders discuss second round of stimulus checks

by Jenny Mount · Dec 16th, 2020 2:58 pm

Last Updated Dec 17th, 2020 at 6:23 pm

Congressional leaders are currently considering a nearly $900 billion coronavirus relief deal expected to include direct stimulus payments.

However, the COVID-19 relief package is expected to exclude funding for state and local governments and liability protections for businesses and other entities in operation during the pandemic.

Congressional leaders are expected to add stimulus checks of a smaller size than the first time around, with Senate Majority Whip John Thune saying he believes the checks would be in the $600 to $700 range per individual. The package will also include enhanced unemployment insurance.

"The thing our constituents are asking us the most is: Will this package put money in our pockets?" said chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA). "Congress must respond at the scale necessary and ensure that we get direct relief to people across our country."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that Congress made "major headway" in agreeing on a relief package.

On Monday, a bipartisan group released a $748 billion bill that detailed the framework for an emergency relief deal through March. The $748 billion bill includes an additional $300 a week to state unemployment insurance recipients for 16 weeks, $35 billion for health-care providers, $82 billion for schools, and $300 billion for small businesses, including another round of the Paycheck Protection Program,

Leaders on both sides agree that Congress should not adjourn until they have passed a coronavirus relief package.


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