Charlotte, NC — The last hurdle before Congress passes a coronavirus relief bill seems to have been resolved. The major spending bill is expected to be passed by both chambers of Congress and signed by President Donald Trump on Sunday ending weeks of negotiations. In the end, both sides gave up a lot of ground.
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) reached an agreement over the Federal Reserve’s emergency lending powers. The statement was that language used was too broad and would have “tied” the Biden administration.
Toomey declared victory in his statement on Sunday. He said that the emergency lending powers would end by December 31 and would require congressional approval to start again.
With the hurdle cleared, it appears that the relief package will easily pass.
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) had previously played difficult with the Democrats, refusing to compromise on the package prior to the election. President Donald Trump had asked for a much larger spending bill than the one McConnell proposed of around $500 billion.
The new package appears to be just over $900 billion, with Democrats winning the inclusion of $600 checks to Americans along with $300 per week of unemployment benefits being added to the plan. Democrats had argued that both measures were nonnegotiable and must be included in the plan.
Also included in the plan are funds for schools and vaccine distribution. Approximately $80 billion was included for these measures as the most recent coronavirus vaccine from Moderna was approved. There is a strong push to get the vaccines distributed as quickly as possible.
The plan also includes support for government funding into 2021. This will prevent another threat of a government shutdown in the coming days. This plan is a whopping $1.4 trillion, not including the coronavirus aid package that was negotiated.
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