Stars and Stripes stripes.com 19 Dec, 2020 18:45 am

Negotiators close in on $900 billion aid plan; a few issues remain

Negotiators close in on $900 billion aid plan; a few issues remain
A new deadline of midnight Sunday for a government shutdown served as a backstop for the tortuous negotiations, which were being conducted in secret largely among the top four leaders in Congress.

Negotiators close in on $900 billion aid plan; a few issues remain Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky."We need to conclude our talks, draft legislation, and land this plane," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.Biden is promising another bill next year, but if Democrats lose Georgia Senate runoff elections next month and fail to win the Senate majority, they may have little leverage.It includes $600 direct payments to individuals; vaccine distribution funds and money for renters, schools, the Postal Service and people needing food aid.

8 trillion in aid, more generous $600 per week bonus jobless benefits and $1,200 direct payments to individuals.For Republicans, the most important COVID-19 aid provision was a long-sought second round of "paycheck protection" payments to especially hard-hit businesses and renewal of soon-to-expire state jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed.

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