New coronavirus relief bill won’t include direct payments to Americans: Report

A new coronavirus relief bill is likely on the way, but one key feature of the last relief package won’t be included.

According to the Associated Press, the coronavirus relief bill that will likely soon be passed by Congress will not have another round of direct payments to the American people. 

The latest

With Congress about to go on a break for Christmas, lawmakers are rushing to pass the latest coronavirus relief bill. It is expected to be passed on Monday.

At $908 billion, the package spends far less than the more than $3 trillion proposal previously demanded by the Democrats, but is also more than the $500 billion proposal from Senate Republicans.

The bill, according to ABC Newsis expected to include $288 billion in aid for small businesses, $160 billion in state and local government relief, $180 billion for extended unemployment benefits, $82 billion for education, $45 billion for transportation, and $16 billion for COVID-19 testing, contact tracing and vaccine distribution. This time around, the unemployment benefits will be $300 a week, instead of $600.

No checks

But there is one noticeable omission. Several members of Congress have said the new coronavirus relief bill will not include another round of $1,200 stimulus checks. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) blamed this fact on the Republicans.

“The $1,200 check, it cost we believe nationally $300 billion to give you an idea,” the Democrat said, according to the AP. “The Democrats have always wanted a larger number, but we were told we couldn’t get anything through the Republicans, except this $900 billion level.”

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), however, said, “This is not a stimulus bill, it’s a relief bill. And it’s something for the next three to four months to help those in greatest need.”

Neither side ruled out the possibility of another round of $1,200 stimulus checks in the future.

Will it pass?

President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), for their parts, both appear to be on board with the $908 billion bill, according to the AP.

Some progressive members of Congress are expected not to support the bill for various reasons, including the lack of another round of direct stimulus payments.

It appears likely, however, that the bill will have enough support to pass through Congress. Only time will tell.

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