#Roommates, as many Americans have been patiently anticipating when the next batch of stimulus payments would be received, it appears that financial payments are reportedly just around the corner. Congress and members of the White House have been continuously meeting to come up with just how much money Americans should receive to combat the financial impact of COVID-19—and their efforts are almost $900 billion in stimulus relief.
@NBCNews reports an agreement has almost been reached between Congressional leaders and White House staff that would approve a roughly $900 billion COVID-19 relief package and a new round of direct stimulus payments, according to sources close to the negotiations. The emerging package will reportedly include enhanced federal jobless benefits, small-business funding, and money to distribute COVID-19 vaccines. The dollar amount of the stimulus payments has not yet been determined — however, some aides said it could be $600 per person while others said it may be higher.
Unlike the previous round of stimulus payments that included an income cap, negotiators have not yet settled on those specifics as of right now. The proposal, which is still being finalized and does not have leadership agreement, is not expected to include liability protections for employers or state or local funding, two sticking points in negotiations that prevented Congress from passing meaningful COVID-19 legislation for the past several months.
The urgency to pass the stimulus bill is very high, as various COVID-19 protections are set to expire in the coming days unless a bill is passed, including jobless benefits on the day after Christmas. Meanwhile, lawmakers are trying to reach a final deal by December 18th, when Congress reaches the deadline to pass legislation to keep the government funded. Leaders from both parties hope to attach the COVID-19 aid package to the government funding bill.
“As far as the deadline on Friday — it could, I mean by the time everything gets processed, but I think there’s a real incentive to get it done by then. I think both sides are sufficiently motivated given the time of the year and everything that’s at stake and trying to get virus relief out there,” said Senate Majority Whip John Thune, who also stated that the payments are being discussed at a level of “$600 to $700 per individual.”
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