Congress reaches agreement on COVID-19 stimulus package. Here’s what it means for you
Congressional leaders and the White House reached agreement on a $2 trillion stimulus package that would mean checks to families across America. But last-minute objections from four Republican senators are once again delaying a final vote.
News 12's Walt Kane has been In Your Corner, tracking the stimulus deal and what it means to you.
According to the draft legislation, families will get money directly from the government: $1,200 for individuals, $2,400 for couples, $500 per child, up to two. The payments start decreasing at incomes of $75,000 for individuals, $150,000 for couples. They disappear at $100,000 for individuals, $200,000 for couples.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D - New York) says Democrats had wanted larger checks, but says the proposal is a win.
"This is the art of compromise," Schumer says. "This is the art of coming together. America needed huge help quickly and I think we’ve risen to that occasion."
The stimulus would also include help for small business owners, including low-interest loans that would be forgiven if they keep workers employed.
People out of work would get an extra month of unemployment benefits, which would be increased by up to $600 per week, enough for most workers to replace their full salaries. It would also cover some people who are normally excluded.
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"In this bill, we allow self-employed people, gig workers, who don’t traditionally benefit from Unemployment Insurance to also apply if they’re in effect they’re out of work and they can’t do what they did before," says Rep. Tom Malinowski (D - New Jersey).
However, those enhanced unemployment benefits, which Democrats consider a key part of the deal, became a sticking point late Wednesday. Four Republican senators argued they could create an incentive for laid-off workers to choose not to return to work. The bill could obviously pass without those votes, but it appears to be delaying what earlier appeared to be a done deal.