The leader of the Republican Majority of the United States Senate, Mitch McConnell, announced this Sunday that he reached an agreement with the Democrats to approve a new $ 900 billion stimulus package to alleviate the effects of the pandemic on the battered US economy.
“More help is on the way. Just moments ago, in consultation with our committees, the four leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives have finalized another great rescue package for the American people,” McConnell proclaimed after a weekend of long negotiations.
The stimulus package is included in a law of 1,400 million dollars destined to finance the Administration until September 2021 and that, in principle, should be approved before midnight this Sunday to prevent federal agencies from running out of funds and have to close.
However, this Sunday night, the House of Representatives and the Senate plan to expand one more day the funds of the federal Administration, which would avoid its closure and give more time to Democrats and Republicans to specify the details of the stimulus plan.
If such an extension occurs, which must receive the approval of the outgoing US president, Donald Trump, it would be the fourth time since September that Congress passes a law to expand the Administration’s funds and prevent it from having to close for lack of funding.
On Friday, Congress has already decided to extend the funds for two days to give Democrats and Republicans more time to reach an agreement.
During this weekend, the two parties managed to remove one of the main obstacles in the negotiations: a Republican proposal to restrict the emergency borrowing capacity of the Federal Reserve (Fed), something that Democrats feared could constrain the future government of the president-elect, Joe Biden.
The stimulus package is expected to include a few direct payments of $ 600 for all those individuals with an income of less than $ 75,000, a measure similar to the previous aid package, approved in March and in which those payments amounted to $ 1,200 per person.
In addition, 300 dollars a week will be given to each person who is unemployed, a benefit that is in addition to the one already granted by the states and that, sometimes, are very rare.
The legislation will also include a $ 330 billion line for small business loans and another $ 80 billion for schools, as well as billions of dollars to help local entities distribute covid-19 vaccines.
Congress has not passed any stimulus measures since March, when it approved a plan to rescue of more than 2 trillion dollars, the largest in US history
Since the first cases were detected in the US 11 months ago, covid-19 has killed more than 317,009 people, while 17.8 million have been infected with the virus, more than in any other country in the world. world in absolute terms, according to the independent tally of Johns Hopkins University.
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