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U.S. Congress reaches deal on COVID-19 aid package, plans votes for Monday

PoliticsDec 21, 2020 12:01AM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. The U.S. Capitol dome is seen at night in Washington 2/2

By Andy Sullivan and David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. congressional leaders reached agreement on Sunday on a $900 billion package to provide the first new aid in months to an economy and individuals battered by the surging coronavirus pandemic, with votes likely on Monday.

The package would be the second-largest economic stimulus in U.S. history, following a $2.3 trillion aid bill passed in March. It comes as the pandemic accelerates, infecting more than 214,000 people in the country each day. More than 317,000 Americans have already died.

"At long last, we have the bipartisan breakthrough the country has needed," Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor, following months of contentious debate.

Republican and Democratic leaders said the package should have enough support to pass both chambers of Congress.

President Donald Trump supports the bill and will sign it into law, White House spokesman Ben Williamson said.

The package would give $600 direct payments to individuals and boost unemployment payments by $300 a week. It also includes billions for small businesses, food assistance, vaccine distribution, transit and healthcare. It extends a moratorium on foreclosures and provides $25 billion in rental aid.

"Anyone who thinks this bill is enough does not know what's going on in America," Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer said at a news conference. He said he would push for more aid after Democratic President-elect Joe Biden takes office on Jan. 20.

Lawmakers said they had resolved disputes over the Federal Reserve's pandemic lending authority and other issues that had forced negotiations into the weekend.

The Democratic-led House of Representatives will likely vote on the package on Monday, with the Republican-controlled Senate to follow, according to House Democratic leader Steny Hoyer.

Congress aims to include the coronavirus aid package in a $1.4 trillion spending bill funding government programs through September 2021.

That funding was due to expire at midnight Sunday (0500 GMT Monday). The House and the Senate both voted to extend funding through Monday, buying more time to pass the coronavirus package and the larger government spending bill. Trump signed the extension into law.

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The relief bill leaves out two of the most contentious elements in the negotiations: legal protections for businesses from coronavirus lawsuits, which had been sought by Republicans, and the substantial aid for state and local governments advocated by Democrats.

But the package helps state and local governments indirectly by providing billions for schools, coronavirus testing and other expenses, Schumer said.

It also includes elements unrelated to the pandemic: a bipartisan provision that aims to end surprise medical billing, and one that authorizes flood control and other water-related projects.

The bill would allow Federal Reserve emergency lending programs to expire on Dec. 31 for businesses and state and local governments, which Republicans said were an unnecessary government interference in private business. But it does not prevent similar programs from being created.

The pandemic will stand as the largest crisis facing Biden's new administration, although signs of hope have emerged as the United States has begun vaccinating people against the highly contagious respiratory disease.

In the 11 months since the first cases of the new coronavirus were documented in the United States, COVID-19 has put millions of Americans out of work, with unemployment rising. Economists say growth will likely remain sluggish until vaccines are widely available in mid-2021. (Graphic: https://tmsnrt.rs/34pvUyi)

U.S. Congress reaches deal on COVID-19 aid package, plans votes for Monday
 

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Comments (51)
Josh Davis
Josh Davis Dec 26, 2020 11:04AM ET
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Welcome pocket veto what joke you had one job congress.
Scott martin
Scott martin Dec 22, 2020 8:40PM ET
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President Trump tear down this wall
Rick Baier
Rick Baier Dec 21, 2020 10:07AM ET
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I ask myself how long would it take for these politician's to vote themselves a raise ?
Jay West
Jay West Dec 21, 2020 10:07AM ET
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Everytime they sign a stopgap measure to keep things open, their pockets are filled for “working overtime.”
jemin An
jemin An Dec 21, 2020 8:15AM ET
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After vaccine, only recession will comes.
John Tierney
John Tierney Dec 21, 2020 8:07AM ET
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Remember we need mail in votes for Georgia to wrig election.
John Tierney
John Tierney Dec 21, 2020 8:06AM ET
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Its all planned.
Chandra Sekaran
Chandra Sekaran Dec 21, 2020 6:45AM ET
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need news on stimulus before market opens
Marco cuevas
Marco cuevas Dec 21, 2020 4:05AM ET
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300 per week of unemployment.  Decisions, decisions, stay home and make below minimum wage or get back out there and go back to slaving.   BTW I'm already retired just speaking on behalf of those that are s c r e w e d.
Josh Davis
Josh Davis Dec 21, 2020 4:05AM ET
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7.50x2080 is 17k. Unemployment at 275+300 weekly is 29900 yearly thats a large issue.
Abdelraziq Abuaisha
Abdelraziq Abuaisha Dec 21, 2020 3:58AM ET
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Trump hasn’t signed the stimulus bill, the democrats are trying to overcome trump, this will make trump very angry. For the investors be very aware, don’t be fooled by the news headlines, and be patient before you make any investing decisions, everything may change if trump didn’t sign the bill.
Jay West
Jay West Dec 21, 2020 3:38AM ET
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A big nothing burger.
daisy mae
daisy mae Dec 21, 2020 3:25AM ET
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$600...... i gotta laugh
justin namon
justin namon Dec 21, 2020 3:25AM ET
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I can pay like my car payment and maybe my health insurance payment
Bernard Tan
Bernard Tan Dec 21, 2020 3:25AM ET
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Thats $600 per week
robert pace
robert pace Dec 21, 2020 3:25AM ET
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Bernard Tan no, that’s one time. The $300 per week is fir the unemployed.
Bobby Ko
Bobby Ko Dec 21, 2020 1:45AM ET
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Here comes the rise of bitcoin and gold
Anna Kaliszewska
Anna Kaliszewska Dec 21, 2020 1:45AM ET
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You what was doing by now? Dollar index went down now it will go up
Wat The
WhatThe Dec 21, 2020 1:26AM ET
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Toilet paper USD here we come!!!
Anna Kaliszewska
Anna Kaliszewska Dec 21, 2020 1:26AM ET
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You will be surprised
John Truglio
John Truglio Dec 20, 2020 10:52PM ET
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I got 4900 last time and invested it MAR, HP, BLMN, AAL, and MIK. Since then I’ve made it all back and have a great portfolio of about 18 stocks. Still going to be just at 74800 adjusted because I am the only one that works in the house. Unfortunately, I’m moving up to the next tax bracket because of this for 2020. Still going to take this $4200 upcoming and put 3000 in market and 1000 towards more Bitcoin.
YC Teng
YC Teng Dec 20, 2020 10:37PM ET
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Time to DEVALUE mighty USD already started with GOLD, Bitcoin and Yuan soaring against battered USD...
Che Pistevo
Che Pistevo Dec 20, 2020 10:37PM ET
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Why? Is it only US printing? The same is going on in Europe.
Jack Zhang
Jack_A Dec 20, 2020 10:37PM ET
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us printed much more than others compared to GDP.
Jack Zhang
Jack_A Dec 20, 2020 10:20PM ET
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inflation will soar
Bernard Tan
Bernard Tan Dec 20, 2020 8:38PM ET
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Soon the time will come to devalue the US$
Brandon Son
Brandon Son Dec 20, 2020 7:52PM ET
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getting everyone used to socialism. all part of the plan.
Show previous replies (1)
Tony Smith
Tony Smith Dec 20, 2020 7:52PM ET
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relax Travis, I don't know what else you could call this, it isn't America
Robert Cox
Robert Cox Dec 20, 2020 7:52PM ET
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No, it's politics!
Marco cuevas
Marco cuevas Dec 20, 2020 7:52PM ET
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Yah capital socialism thanks to Republicans.
Green Mango
Green Mango Dec 20, 2020 7:52PM ET
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Travis Lee Ochsner  Really putting your ignorance on full display Travis.  Less than 1% of this country is military or family member.  Most barely make ends meet and they are on call 24/7.   They have decided to perform a service for their pay, unlike some of the other groups you mention.  Defense industry is where the waste is happening.  You sound like you got botted out and went and joined antifa. Leave the gas lighting to Reuters, they are doing it for you and they are better at it.
Green Mango
Green Mango Dec 20, 2020 7:52PM ET
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**booted out**
Darryl Allen
Darryl Allen Dec 20, 2020 7:01PM ET
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Bezos is laughing his way to the bank
Danny Danny
Danny Danny Dec 20, 2020 6:37PM ET
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Green tomorrow ?
Jeff Gordon
Jeff Gordon Dec 20, 2020 6:37PM ET
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meh....down from here. inflation will kick in very soon
Danny Danny
Danny Danny Dec 20, 2020 6:37PM ET
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Jeff Gordon  yeah, that's what I have figured. Maybe invest in some Inflation ETFs. Thanks.
Tai Banh
Tai Banh Dec 20, 2020 6:37PM ET
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Big tine green tomorrow especailly facebook will be up 2-3% early tomorrow morning 👍👍👍
Daniel Lu
Daniel Lu Dec 20, 2020 6:37PM ET
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Government funds have made trilliants by pushing stock price higher from stimulus news and now they need to sell and yield to investors as if these are still undervalued, lol
Matt Kay
Matt Kay Dec 20, 2020 6:04PM ET
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Sell the stimulus. Red from this point on!
Roro Zoro
Roro Zoro Dec 20, 2020 6:04PM ET
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Sell what? Gold?
Hang Duong
Hang Duong Dec 20, 2020 6:02PM ET
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May I ask who is trading XAGUSD? Your view today?
Gamer Paper
Gamer Paper Dec 20, 2020 6:02PM ET
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Silver spot? Stay away from metals until the dollar consolodates
oludare adegboye
oludare adegboye Dec 20, 2020 6:02PM ET
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i will advice you wait close of today's candle before you trade because of the stimulus package
James Gomez
James Gomez Dec 20, 2020 5:18PM ET
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Don't hold your breathe
The GOAT
The_Goat Dec 20, 2020 4:39PM ET
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If they don't get it done today that will be jokes
 
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