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Congress passes long-awaited Covid relief bill and government funding plan

Orator of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) walks back to her office after opening the House floor following an bargain of a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) aid package the night before on Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C., December 21, 2020.

Ken Cedeno | Reuters

Congress archaic a mammoth coronavirus relief and government spending package Monday night as it moves to inject long-delayed aid into the skirmish against a once-in-a-century health and economic crisis.

Both chambers easily approved the more than $2 trillion legislation in signify ones opinions that dragged late into the night. Congressional leaders attached $900 billion in pandemic aid to a $1.4 trillion evaluation to fund the government through Sept. 30.

The House approved the package in a 359-53 vote. The Senate then passed it by a 92-6 edge.

At the same time, Congress passed a seven-day stopgap spending bill to keep the government open during the at the same time it takes for the full-year legislation to get to President Donald Trump’s desk.

The bill would send needed help to Americans for the inception time since the spring — though it will come too late for families that have struggled to eat and stay in their homes, or ungenerous businesses that have already had to close their doors for good. The package includes a boost to jobless gains, more small business loans, another $600 direct payment and funds to streamline critical distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, in the midst a bevy of other provisions.

Trump is expected to sign it into law in the coming days, weeks before he will resign office.

As Congress rushed to approve one of the biggest rescue plans in American history, lawmakers had only a few hours to meditate on the more than 5,000-page legislation. They aimed to beat two key deadlines: the expiration of pandemic-era unemployment programs that choice cause 12 million people to lose benefits the day after Christmas, and the lapse of a federal eviction moratorium that could except tens of millions of people vulnerable to losing their homes at the end of the month.

Lawmakers, particularly Democrats, likely choice not wait long to seek more aid. On Monday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called it “a good jaws” but said it “cannot be the end of the story.”

Among the key provisions in the legislation, it adds a $300 per week federal unemployment supplement in every way mid-March and extends programs making freelancers and gig workers eligible for benefits. It sends payments of $600 to individuals who bring in up to $75,000 and couples filing jointly who make up to $150,000. The bill adds another $600 for every child.

The gage puts $284 billion into Paycheck Protection Program small business loans. It directs more than $8 billion into vaccine apportionment, along with $20 billion to ensure Americans receive shots for free. The bill also puts at scarcely $20 billion more into Covid-19 testing and contact tracing.

The bill extends the federal eviction suspension through Jan. 31 and fund $25 billion in rental assistance. It directs $13 billion to food aid to increase the uttermost Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefit by 15%. The bill also puts $82 billion into drilling and $45 billion into transportation.

The package includes $15 billion in payroll support for U.S. air carriers that are faltering from the pandemic. The additional funding requires airlines to call back more than 32,000 workers they furloughed this drop and keep employees on payroll through the end of March. The new round of aid comes on top of the $25 billion carriers received under the Miseries Act last March.

Earlier Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called the bill a “consequential rescue package” and said Americans have “waited long enough” for additional aid.

The bill’s passage follows months of loser by lawmakers to send more help during a public health crisis that has killed more than 310,000 people and an productive collapse that sent millions into poverty. After lawmakers approved the more than $2 trillion Tribulations Act in March, Democrats passed a more than $3 trillion aid bill in the House in May.

Republicans for several months doubted the need for more federal assistance. Then by July, McConnell started to back a roughly $500 billion arrangement.

Democrats later passed another more than $2 trillion package in October, while the party hunk $500 billion proposals in the Senate. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., repeatedly cited a fundamental contradiction between the parties over just how dire the crisis was and how large of a role the federal government should take in it.

McConnell accused Democrats of delightful an all-or-nothing approach.

A last-ditch push by Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to reach a deal before the Nov. 3 plebiscite failed. Then, a bipartisan Senate and House group’s efforts negotiations toward an agreement in recent weeks assisted to restart discussions among congressional leaders.

While most of Congress has cheered the latest bill as at least an endorse step to buoy the country during the crises, economists and Democrats have said the country will need profuse relief. President-elect Joe Biden and his allies in Congress have stressed they will immediately push for more aid after the new president takes office on Jan. 20 — including new aid for state and local governments.

“We advance this bill today as a fundamental step. … We are ready for the next step,” Pelosi wrote to House Democrats on Monday.

— CNBC’s Leslie Josephs donated to this report

Update: This story was updated to reflect the bill passed the Senate in a 92-6 vote. The wrong opinion tally was initially announced on the Senate floor.

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