Lawmakers struck a nearly $900 billion COVID-19 stimulus deal on Sunday, 20 December, 2020 that includes another round of stimulus checks and badly needed jobless benefits for struggling Americans, ending a long standoff in Washington with one of the biggest rescue bills in U.S. history.
After months of impasse, negotiations came down to the wire as 12 million people are set to lose unemployment benefits the day after Christmas.
The deal includes restarting a $300 boost to the federal unemployment insurance benefit, extending eviction moratoriums for renters for an unspecified amount of time and a $600 direct payment to most Americans.
Even though lawmakers reached a deal, some jobless Americans could see their unemployment benefits lapse since it may take weeks for aid to reach them due to outdated state systems, experts say.
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The measure will be tied to a $1.4 trillion must-pass spending bill that will fund federal agencies and programs through Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year.
Congress passed a one-day extension of government funding late Sunday to give lawmakers one more day to review the deal to avert a partial government shutdown deadline.