Two Stimulus Packages Announced for Vote on Friday

Mandatory Credit: Photo by MICHAEL REYNOLDS/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (11520809i)US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi arrives to hold a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, USA, 10 December 2020.

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.

See: Refusing to Wait for Congress, These Cities and States Are Handing Out COVID-19 Relief
Find: The Stimulus Check Secret You Need to Know Before You File Your 2020 Taxes

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.

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See: Where Experts Think Congress Should Spend Stimulus Money
Find: 10 Things Stopping You From Getting a Relief Check

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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About the Author

Ann Logue is a writer specializing in business and finance. Her most recent book is The Complete Idiot’s Guide: Options Trading (Alpha 2016). She lives in Chicago.

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