Stimulus Deal: COVID-19 relief package is finally approved

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Photo:

After months of failed negotiations, lawmakers have reached a deal on a second stimulus package, according to Forbes.

Known as “the four corners,” congressional leaders House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, met multiple times throughout the week and weekend and have reached an apparent deal. Included in the deal are stimulus checks, an extension of federal unemployment benefits, money for schools, and more.

In the months of back and forth, two issues held up a deal. Democrats wanted aid for state and local governments whose budgets have been hit hard by the effects of the pandemic. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell led Republicans in a demand for liability shields for businesses and colleges and universities. However, Congressional leaders agreed to put those two issues aside, which helped them make a deal.

Lawmakers struck a roughly $900 billion COVID-19 stimulus deal that includes another round of stimulus checks and badly needed jobless benefits for struggling Americans, ending a long standoff in Washington with one of the biggest rescue bills in U.S. history.

After months of impasse, negotiations came down to the wire as 12 million people are set to lose unemployment benefits the day after Christmas. The deal includes restarting a $300 boost to the federal unemployment insurance benefit, extending eviction moratoriums for renters by a month and a $600 direct payment to most Americans, according to the 5,600-page text of the bill.

Even though lawmakers reached a deal, some jobless Americans could see their unemployment benefits lapse because outdated state systems could slow down the distribution of aid, experts say.