The Senate approved the COVID-19 relief package and omnibus spending bill late Monday night by a vote of 92 to 6. Earlier in the same evening, the House passed the $900 billion COVID-19 rescue package in an overwhelming vote, 359 to 53.
The coronavirus pandemic is not only a health crisis but a financial one: shuttering businesses, upending entire industries and whipsawing financial markets -- erasing trillions of dollars in the process.
The COVID-19 relief bill was attached to a must-pass $1.4 trillion spending bill. The total cost of the package is $2.3 trillion, making it the second-largest economic stimulus in U.S. history. The CARES Act relief bill passed in March, is the largest stimulus package in modern American history.
The new COVID-19 agreement includes $600 for individuals making up to $75,000 per year, $1,200 for couples making up to $150,000 per year, as well as a $600 payment for each dependent child.
For example, a family of four under the income threshold would receive $2,400 in direct payments.
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The bill provides $300 per week in enhanced federal unemployment benefits through March 14, 2021.
Other key provisions of the bill include:
- Providing more than $284 billion for businesses and reviving the Paycheck Protection Program, which expired over the summer.
- Funding for loans from small and minority-owned lenders and another $20 billion to small business grants.
- Providing billions of dollars for testing, tracing and vaccine distribution, as well as $82 billion for colleges and schools, $13 billion in increased nutrition assistance, $7 billion for broadband access and $25 billion in rental assistance.
- Extending an eviction moratorium set to expire at the end of the year.
- Ending the practice of surprise medical billing.
This report was featured in the Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020, episode of “Start Here,” ABC News’ daily news podcast.
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