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Congress reaches deal on $900 billion Covid-19 relief package

After months of intransigence, Congress finally struck a deal on nearly $900 billion in Covid-19 relief that will include a new round of direct payments to help unemployed Americans, and struggling families and businesses.

It’s bittersweet. The deal struck by the top two leaders from each party includes stimulus checks of up to $600– not $1200– per person for individuals earning $75,000 per year and $600 for their children. While something is always better than nothing, $600 will hardly make a dent in the debt families have racked up since the last stimulus package.

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“Moments ago, in consultation with our committees, the four leaders of the Senate and the House finalized an agreement,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on Sunday evening. “More help is on the way.”

The relief package will provide aid for the nation’s unemployed, which will include an extension of unemployment benefits and insurance, as well as an additional $284 billion in loans for businesses struggling to pay rent and payroll. Nearly $70 billion for testing and vaccine distribution will be included along with an additional $82 billion in funding for colleges and schools.

Rental assistance ($25 billion) and food assistance ($13 billion) are included, and the moratorium on evictions will be extended an additional month.

The formal vote on the finalized deal is expected to take place Monday.

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