U.S. Congress reaches deal on COVID-19 aid package
U.S. congressional leaders reached agreement on Sunday on a $900 billion package to provide the first new aid in months to an economy and individuals battered by the surging coronavirus pandemic, with votes likely on Monday, according to Reuters.
The package would be the second-largest economic stimulus in U.S. history, following a $2.3 trillion aid bill passed in March. It comes as the pandemic accelerates, infecting more than 214,000 people in the country each day. More than 317,000 Americans have already died.
“At long last, we have the bipartisan breakthrough the country has needed,” Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor, following months of contentious debate.
Republican and Democratic leaders said the package should have enough support to pass both chambers of Congress.
President Donald Trump supports the bill and will sign it into law, White House spokesman Ben Williamson said.
The package would give $600 direct payments to individuals and boost unemployment payments by $300 a week. It also includes billions for small businesses, food assistance, vaccine distribution, transit and healthcare. It extends a moratorium on foreclosures and provides $25 billion in rental aid.
Congress aims to include the coronavirus aid package in a $1.4 trillion spending bill funding government programs through September 2021.