Posted by 21 December 2020
After weeks of negotiations, House leaders and Trump Administration officials have agreed to a coronavirus aid package.
The price tag for this new aid legislation is $900 billion. Among other things, it contains these provisions:
- A $600 check for most Americans
- Continuing to allow self-employed workers and gig workers access to unemployment benefits
- An extension of time limit for receiving unemployment benefits
- An additional $300 boost in unemployment benefits
- The Paycheck Protection Program, which offered forgivable loans to businesses affected by the pandemic, was extended and provided with more funding
- An extension of the eviction moratorium that was set to expire within weeks
- Funding for schools to reopen
- An expansion in the eligibility of Pell Grants
- Funding to purchase vaccines
- $16 billion for airlines
- A prohibition on surprise medical billing
While Congress had passed three bipartisan coronavirus relief bills in the spring, there had not been an agreement on further legislation since that time. Republicans and Democrats disagreed on a variety of issues. One of the Democrats’ largest priorities was aid for state and local governments. Republicans wanted liability protection for businesses. Neither of those things were included in this legislation, with members of the two parties jettisoning demands for them to focus on issues where there was widespread agreement.
The legislation is packaged with an omnibus appropriations bill that finalizes federal spending through the rest of the fiscal year. This keeps the federal government open through October 1 of 2021.
Most members of Congress support this legislation. Some, however, oppose it citing concerns about deficit spending. This legislation will bring the amount of total federal coronavirus aid to $4 trillion.
Do you support the new $900 billion coronavirus aid bill?