(WEHT) – After months of Washington gridlock, Congress is set to vote on a $900 billion pandemic relief package.
It would deliver cash to businesses and individuals as well as give resources to vaccinate a nation confronting a frightening surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths.
The bill would include direct cash payments, enhanced unemployment, and rental assistance for qualifying individuals as well as and a revival of PPP loans.
$160 billion would go towards stimulus checks which would come as $600 direct payments for individuals making up to $75,000 and couples making up to $150,000 per year. There would also be payments per dependent child.
Unemployment benefits will extend by 11 weeks through March 2021. Those benefits will be at $300 a week.
$25 billion will go towards rental assistance which extends rent moratorium through January 31, 2021 and provides funds for future rent and utility payments.
Families who require childcare will be helped with those costs and childcare providers will receive aid with operative costs.
The bill also includes aid for live venues, independent movie theaters and cultural institutions.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the Senate floor to say Americans should see relief sooner than later.
“We are going to pass another historic rescue package to help American families through this pandemic. We are going to pass full-year government funding so the armed forces and all federal departments have the resources and the certainty they need. And we are going to do both these things as soon as possible,” McConnell said.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, a key negotiator, said the direct payments would begin arriving in bank accounts next week.
The bill also contains $22 billion to help states and local governments with Covid-19-related health expenses like testing and vaccines.