Congress Passes New COVID Relief Bill

Dec 23, 2020Congressional Legislation, News

After months of deliberation and negotiation, Congress approved a $900 billion economic recovery package earlier this week to help Americans mitigate economic impacts resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Since its passage, however, President Trump has come out against the legislation in a video posted online, putting its future in jeopardy.

At half the size of the $2.2 trillion stimulus law passed in March, the new package will revive a supplemental unemployment payment of $300 a week for eleven weeks and grant $600 one-time payments to adults across the country.

“I expect we’ll get the money out by the beginning of next week⎯$2,400 for a family of four⎯so much needed relief just in time for the holidays,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on CNBC, prior to the President’s video statement. “I think this will take us through the recovery.”

President-elect Joe Biden insisted that the bill would be just the beginning of more relief at the start of his term, especially for state and local governments. The bill passed in the Senate 92 to 6.

Senate and House lawmakers agreed that the package was long overdue, as extended unemployment benefits and other pandemic relief provisions are set to expire at the end of the year. Through months of negotiation, millions of Americans slipped into poverty, coronavirus cases and deaths rose, and thousands of small businesses permanently closed.

The new bill will provide an additional $100 a week to “mixed earners,” those who make money both as employees and as contractors or freelancers. It will also revive the Paycheck Protection Program and allow businesses to apply for a second loan, as well as deduct payroll costs and other expenses.

Click here for highlights of the relief package provisions as reported by the New York Times.


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