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US Congress Seals Agreement on $900 Billion COVID Relief Bill|LAGOS EYE NEWS

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The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate are expected to vote Monday on a $900 billion coronavirus aid package that would provide assistance for American households and businesses.

The measure comes after weeks of negotiations during which Democratic and Republican leaders clashed over how much government assistance to provide, and whether the focus should be on items such as jobless benefits or keeping open the economy.

It also comes during a surge in COVID-19 infections, with the United States recording nearly 18 million confirmed cases — adding more than 200,000 cases per day — and with the country’s death toll standing at more than 317,000 people, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

House and Senate leaders announced Sunday the measure included $600 direct payments to most people, with the amount phasing out for those with incomes above $75,000 per year. A previous round of $1,200 stimulus payments was included in a much larger coronavirus relief bill in March.

The new bill also includes $284 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, an initiative meant to help businesses keep workers employed during a period in which the economic pressure of the pandemic may have forced added layoffs.

There is also $300 per week in unemployment benefits for 11 weeks, as well as $82 billion for local schools and universities, $25 billion in rental assistance, $15 billion for theaters and $10 billion for child care. There is also $4 billion to help other countries with vaccination efforts for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

AP
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