Congress votes on new economic aid package

Congress votes on new economic aid package

After lengthy negotiations, lawmakers finally managed to reach a compromise

The House and Senate are voting Monday on a $900 billion coronavirus economic aid package that lawmakers were able to agree on after lengthy negotiations.

Democratic and Republican leaders have argued for weeks about how much aid should be provided and what issues should be given special attention.

Senate and House leaders said Sunday that the package includes $600 in direct payments to the public and $300 a week in unemployment benefits supplements, which would be in effect for 11 weeks.

The new bill also includes $284 billion for a program designed to help businesses save jobs.

It also proposes $82 billion for schools and universities, $25 billion for a renter’s assistance program, $15 billion for theaters, $10 billion for child care, and another $4 billion to help other countries vaccinate against the coronavirus.

“There will be another major aid package for the American people,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday. – Our citizens who continue to fight the coronavirus over the holidays won’t have to fight it alone.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the bill is just the first step.

“It’s not the end of the story, it’s not the end of the job,” Schumer told reporters. – Anyone who thinks this bill is enough doesn’t know what’s going on in America.”

President-elect Joe Biden spoke in the same vein: He welcomed the announcement of an agreement on the aid package, but stressed that “the work is far from over.”

“Congress needs to get to work right away, early in the new year, on supporting our COVID-19 plan, on supporting families in need, and on investing in jobs and economic recovery. There will be no time to lose,” he said in a statement.

President Donald Trump has not yet commented on the agreement.