Two Stimulus Packages Announced for Vote on Friday
On Monday afternoon, members of the U.S. Senate held a press conference to announce that two stimulus packages with a total cost of $908 billion had been prepared for a vote on Friday, December 18, the deadline for a funding extension to avoid a federal government shutdown.
The first bill is a $748 billion stimulus that includes an additional unemployment benefit of $300 per week for 16 weeks, assistance to food banks, rent relief, student loan forbearance, and an extension of the Payroll Protection Program. Funding would continue through April 30. This bill seems to have wide support.
The second bill is a $160 billion package that covers liability protections for employers and aid to state and local governments. Each state would receive a minimum of $500 million, which is the bulk of the program, with funds for tribal areas as well. This bill seems to have less support.
The senators emphasized repeatedly that these bills were the result of bipartisan cooperation. It’s likely that the market will interpret the bipartisanship and the PPP extension positively, though whether that positivity will extend to the status of the coronavirus vaccine has yet to be seen.
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