Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell put his foot down, and it seems to have worked.
On Tuesday, McConnell made it clear to his fellow Senators that they would not be leaving for Christmas recess until a deal had been reached that would provide economic stimulus to Americans impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and it’s economic devastation.
Now, less than 24 hours later, we are on the precipice of a breakthrough in negotiations, and direct payments to Americans have re-entered the picture.
Congressional negotiators are on the brink of a coronavirus rescue package that would include a second round of direct payments and boost unemployment benefits, but would leave out state and local funding and a liability shield, according to lawmakers and sources briefed on the talks.
The price tag of the emerging agreement is roughly $900 billion, and a deal could be finalized on Wednesday, those sources said. Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) said the proposal would likely include direct checks to individuals of $600 to $700 and a weekly unemployment boost of $300 through March.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sounded upbeat on Wednesday morning about the progress that the top four congressional leaders had made over the last 24 hours. He said he believed the impending compromise can pass both the House and Senate and gain support from both parties.
Without a relief package deal, the US economy faces the dual threats of a lackluster bout of consumerism at Christmastime and an expiring moratorium on evictions that could see scores of Americans thrown out of their homes.
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