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Sunday, December 21, and a deal has finally been reached on a second stimulus package. After months of partisan stalemate, the 4 leaders of the Senate and Congress finalized an agreement on a package that will include $600 stimulus checks mailed to millions of Americans within a few weeks. Moments after the deal was announced, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer predicted that “barring a major mishap,” both the House and Senate could vote as early as Sunday night.
Leaders reached the agreement after days of around-the-clock talks and as they felt increasing pressure from colleagues and constituents to pass to at least some coronaviruses help before the end of the year.
Although details are yet to be released, the agreement is likely based on the heavily amended version of the $908 billion compromise package that reenergized relief talks in early December and was revised again on December 14. to allow a vote on individual relief while setting new state and local aid aside for extended negotiations.
Earlier in the week, Schumer had sounded cautiously optimistic, noting that the focus of negotiations has “has always been about getting the American people the relief they need at a time of an acute national crisis, of an emergency to so many Americans. This has been about delivering a lifeline to Americans who were laid off through no fault of their own.”
For Senators Bernie Sanders and Josh Hawley, the announcement signals a win, of sorts. Both men have been at the forefront of a bipartisan group pushing for second stimulus checks to be included in any relief package but were calling for payments of $1200 per person, twice the amount that has been approved. Hawley was cautious in his support of the package, noting that “it’s progress” but “not the level I think it should be.”
Watch this blog for updates on this and other financial news as it unfolds.