Congress Reaches A Virus Deal: What's In It?

A deal is reached. Let's look inside.

After months of bickering, Congress Reaches Final Agreement on Pandemic Relief.

  1. Direct checks are expected to be $600 per adult and $600 per child, with the amounts decreasing for individuals with more than $75,000 in income and $150,000 for couples. Dependents over the age of 16 don't qualify.
  2. Add $300 to weekly unemployment payments for 11 weeks
  3. Extend two other unemployment programs until they begin phasing out in mid-March and end in early April. Those two programs expand the pool of people eligible for unemployment benefits and extend their duration.
  4. $15 billion for airline payroll support.
  5. Roughly $280 billion would go toward the Paycheck Protection Program.
  6. $325 billion goes toward small businesses.
  7. Theater operators and owners of small performance venues would be eligible for $15 billion in grants.
  8. Schools would receive $82 billion under the agreement, and $10 billion would go toward child care.
  9. The deal would also include $25 billion in rental assistance 
  10. Moratorium on evictions extended
  11. $30 billion for the procurement and distribution of a vaccine, as well as testing and tracing. 
  12. $1.8 billion in tax credits for businesses to provide paid leave.
  13. Ability for businesses to deduct restaurant meals.
  14. Renewable-energy breaks, including incentives for wind energy and carbon capture, would get temporary extensions.
  15. Extend a tax credit for retaining employees and make it available to PPP recipients. 
  16. The remaining funding previously provided to the Treasury Department to backstop losses in Fed lending programs would be revoked, and the Fed wouldn’t be able to replicate identical emergency lending programs next year without congressional approval. The compromise will ensure the Fed and the Biden administration can’t restart the lending programs “by creating a clone and calling it something different,” Senator. Toomey told reporters Sunday.
  17. The final package would also prevent patients from receiving surprise medical bills, including from air ambulance rides. Surprise billing typically occurs when a patient is treated at a hospital in his or her insurance network by a medical professional who isn’t, potentially leading to crippling medical charges.
  18. Pell Grants
  19. $1 billion in federal loan forgiveness for Historically Black Colleges and Universities
  20. Climate change items such as reducing chemicals used in air-conditioners and refrigerators.
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