US House passes $ 900 billion Covid-19 aid package; the bill moves to the senate

The US House of Representatives approved a $ 892 billion coronavirus relief package on Monday aimed at throwing a lifeline to the country’s pandemic battered economy and clearing the way for Senate approval later tonight.

The House also approved in bipartisan votes a $ 1.4 trillion measure that will keep the U.S. government funded for another year, which will also go to the Senate for consideration.

The relief bill, which would become law if passed by the Senate and signed by President Donald Trump, includes $ 600 payments to most Americans as well as additional payments to the millions of people thrown out of work during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a major benefit will expire on Saturday.

The White House has said Trump will sign the bill.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, urged lawmakers to support the bill on viral assistance, although she complained that it did not include direct support to state and local authorities that Democrats had sought. She said they would try again next year after Democratic President Joe Biden takes office.

The bill, she said, “does not go all the way but it takes us down the road.”

Republican Rep. Hal Rogers, who supported the package, said “it reflects a fair compromise.”

Earlier, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, told reporters at the Capitol that the introduction of legislation in the Senate “would probably be late, but we’ll end tonight.”

At 5,593 pages, the comprehensive bill is likely to be the last major piece of legislation for the 116th Congress, which expires on January 3.

It has a net cost of about $ 350 billion for coronavirus assistance, McConnell said, adding that more than $ 500 billion in funding comes from unused money that Congress had approved.

The stimulus package, the first congressional approval since April, comes as the pandemic accelerates in the United States, infecting more than 214,000 people every day and slowing economic recovery. More than 317,000 Americans have died.

The legislation also expands a small business loan program by about $ 284 billion and directs money to schools, airlines, transit systems and vaccine distribution.

The Small Business Loan and Grant Program, known as the Paycheck Protection Program, would exclude listed companies from eligibility.

Amid reports that the Trump organization has received past support, the bill calls for information for the president, vice president, cabinet heads, lawmakers and spouses and bans these individuals from getting loans in the future.

State and local governments, which are struggling to pay for the distribution of newly approved COVID-19 vaccines, would receive $ 8.75 billion from Washington, of which $ 300 million is for vaccinations in minority and high-risk populations.

Scrapped punctuation points

The deal, which was drafted during a rare congressional weekend, omits the coolest points, which included Republicans ‘desire for a shield of responsibility to protect companies from coronavirus-related lawsuits and Democrats’ demand for a large cash outlay -trapped state and local government.

McConnell, interviewed by Fox News, promised to renew his quest for protection against corporate lawsuits in whatever coronavirus relief bill the incoming Biden administration conducts in early 2021.

The measure is significantly less than the $ 3 trillion required in a bill that passed the Democratic-controlled House in May, which the Republican-controlled Senate ignored.

Biden has urged Congress to consider further incentives for him to log in when he takes office on January 20. “My message to everyone out there who is struggling right now, help is on the way,” he said in a statement.

The bill would be the second largest stimulus package in US history, behind the $ 2 trillion bill supported in March. Experts said that money played a crucial role because social distancing measures closed large sections of the economy.

(REUTERS)