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Wire service reports—
WASHINGTON – Congressional leaders reported on Sunday that they had reached a deal on an almost $900 billion COVID-19 relief package that will include $600 checks for most Americans and their dependents.
“It will be another major rescue package for the American people,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced on the Senate floor Sunday afternoon.
McConnell, hailing the “bipartisan breakthrough,” said the bill’s text must be finalized and, barring any “last-minute obstacles,” pass the House and Senate before President Donald Trump can sign it into law. Both chambers were expected to debate and vote on the package Monday.
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.
The deal is likely to pass the House and Senate as top leaders on both sides of the aisle argued for its passage.
The agreement ended months of wrangling between Republicans and Democrats over the type and size of legislation needed to help Americans
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said the deal was “far from perfect” but will deliver “emergency relief” to Americans. He vowed it would not be the “last word” on COVID-19 stimulus and said he would push for another bill once President-elect Joe Biden took office.
Democrats declared victory in keeping top Republican priorities like COVID-19 liability protections for schools and businesses out of the package, though they also were unable to secure one of their top priorities of aid for state and local governments.
President-elect Joe Biden has called the package “a good start,” and Democrats are hopeful that priorities not fully addressed in the relief package will get an extra boost when the new president moves into the White House.
The measure also would establish a temporary $300-per-week supplemental jobless benefit for the next 10 weeks and
The bill, part of a bipartisan spending deal funding the government through Sept. 30 also includes: