Congressional Covid-19 Package to Include Stimulus Checks, Hope Increases for Deal This Week

New stimulus payments will now be included in the around $900 billion pandemic relief deal being discussed on Capitol Hill today by Congressional leaders, according to CNN. Congress could start voting on the bill by tomorrow, according to Reuters.

The legislation will include stimulus checks in the amount of only $600 to $700, as opposed to the $1,200 previously, as well as an extension of jobless benefits. Mitch McConnell added it is important the bill include another round of funds for the Paycheck Protection Program in order to save jobs. Those close to the deal warn nothing is set in stone until the deal is actually finalized, but both Democrats and Republicans are hopeful.

“It’s not a done deal yet, but we are very close,” Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said.

The proposal does not include money to help states and local governments. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Republicans’ desire to include lawsuit protections for businesses is why state and local aid is not in the bill. However, when President-elect Joe Biden takes office, Pelosi said she plans to introduce it again.

Officials at the Federal Reserve are also debating whether to take steps to address pandemic relief and if added stimulus from the central bank might be necessary. The Federal Reserve has already been urging Americans to spend by cutting interest rates to nearly zero and keeping the cost of borrowing low.