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Before the long weekend, the US Congress gets closer to a resolution

House and Senate negotiators reached a tentative bipartisan deal on a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package and a $1.4 trillion government-wide spending package late on Sunday night.

The deal includes several key measures intended to provide economic assistance to Americans, including:

  • Direct payments of $600 million to most Americans;
  • An additional $300 per week in employment benefits;
  • An additional $300 billion for small business loans;
  • Expanding forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans;
  • Increasing funding for vaccine distribution and testing;
  • Extending the eviction moratorium through March 2021;
  • Extending additional unemployment benefits through March 2021;
  • Allowing existing mortgages to be refinanced to lower rates;
  • Suspending student loan payments through September 2021;
  • Help for airlines to keep workers on the payroll;
  • Funding for rural broadband expansion.

The bill will now be put to a vote in the House and Senate and is expected to pass. President Trump has previously said he would sign the bill once it reached his desk. If approved, the relief package would be the fifth coronavirus-related package since the pandemic first began earlier this year.