Congress adopts COVID-19 relief package

Congress adopts COVID-19 relief package

The U.S. Congress appears poised to vote Sunday on a $ 900 billion coronavirus relief package bill, after senators reached a late night compromise that removes one of the latest obstacles to the Fed’s powers over the pandemic.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer told reporters Saturday night: “If everything continues down this path and nothing gets in the way, then we can vote tomorrow.”

“I really hope we will complete this work today,” House Republican minority leader Kevin McCarthy said Sunday on Fox News.

The package includes direct payments to people of $ 600 and additional unemployment benefits of $ 300 per week. Congress leaders plan to add it to the $ 1.4 trillion government program funding bill through September 2021. The 48-hour government funding extension expires at midnight Sunday, after which the government should close.

President Donald Trump expressed his support for the bill, especially with regard to additional direct payments. “Shut down,” he urged in a tweet posted on Sunday night.

Republican Senator Pat Toomey has pushed for language to ensure the central bank cannot resume emergency small business, state and local government lending programs that will expire December 31 under the COVID-19 relief law passed in March. …

Republicans have argued that these programs are unnecessary interference in private business, which is politicized by the Fed. They accused the Democrats of trying to extend them to 2021 as a loophole for uncontrolled funds to be allocated to state and municipal governments controlled by their party members.

Democrats, in turn, have accused Republicans of trying to tie the Fed’s hands to restrict Democratic President-elect Joe Biden’s ability to stimulate a weakened economy since he took office on January 20.

Toomey spokesman Steve Kelly said the Senator’s deal with Sumer “will nullify more than $ 429 billion” allocated under the March law and unused, terminate lending mechanisms under that law on December 31, 2020, them without the approval of Congress. ”

However, a senior Democratic spokesman said Toomey agreed “to abandon the broad language in his proposal that would prevent the Fed chairman from creating similar mechanisms in the future.”

A Democratic spokesman noted that work on compromise language is nearing completion and the final deal on the COVID-19 package is “much closer.”

On Saturday, the Senate met for a rare Saturday meeting where Republican leader Mitch McConnell called on lawmakers to avoid last-minute controversy that could delay new funding for Americans and small businesses.

“Americans cannot feed their families or pay the bills with fair congressional debate. They need us to act, ”McConnell said in a Senate speech. “We need to complete negotiations, draft a bill and approve this plan.”

“We are within reach,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat, said during a conference call with her party members, according to the person who attended.

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