Congress Passes $900 Billion Pandemic Relief Plan

The House and Senate approve a massive tax and spending bill. President Trump is expected to sign the legislation.
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The House and Senate voted late Monday to approve a massive tax and spending bill including government funding, tax cuts and emergency economic relief. 

The White House has said President Donald Trump will sign the pandemic relief legislation.

The hefty legislation, reportedly topping out at 5,600 pages, includes $900 billion in Covid relief measures, extends the operating budget for federal agencies through September 2021 and extends important tax breaks for businesses.

Monday afternoon, Congress posted the text of the relief bill. Read it here.

According to a report from the Washington Post, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday said millions of Americans could begin seeing stimulus payments as soon as next week as the White House and Congress work to rush a $900 billion spending package into law.

Under the terms of the economic relief plan in the bill, Americans who earn less than $75,000 could receive a direct payment of $600. It also provides an extra $300 a week in unemployment benefits for 11 weeks, funding for vaccine distribution and other support. The legislation includes about $325 billion in relief for businesses, including $275 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program. 

The agreement would extend a moratorium on renter evictions through Jan. 31, and provide $25 billion to be distributed through state and local governments to help renters who have fallen behind. 

“I applaud this relief package, but our work is far from over,” said President-elect Joe Biden on Twitter. “Starting in the new year, Congress will need to immediately get to work on support for our Covid-19 plan.”

On the vaccine front, the bill provides $8 billion for distribution of the two FDA-approved Covid vaccines, from Pfizer PFE and partner BioNTech BNTX, and from Moderna MRNA. It also includes $20 billion so the shots are free, and another $20 billion for states to do contact tracing and testing.