Lawmakers in Washington have finally agreed on another coronavirus relief package.
Late Saturday night, Congress struck a deal with the Federal Reserve that paved a way for a deal previously agreed upon by both Democrats and Republicans to move forward. The deal included extending the central bank’s lending authority, a necessary step in a pair of bills that are expected to clear the chamber.
The pair of bills include a $1 trillion dollar bill directly for COVID-19 relief and a $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill.
Business Insider reports the bills had an uncertain fate and could have been potentially derailed by the requirement had Republicans not struck a deal with the Federal Reserve:
A late Republican push to curtail the Federal Reserve’s lending authority had threatened to derail a weekend stimulus deal. But a broad agreement just got more likely after lawmakers struck a compromise on Fed lending, clearing the way for a possible Sunday vote on a $900 billion rescue package.
The clash over the Fed between Republicans and Democrats had intensified on Capitol Hill earlier on Saturday. Politico reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told senators in a caucus call that Republicans should stand firm with Sen. Patrick Toomey.
He sought to cut off the central bank’s emergency lending powers after they sunset on Dec. 31, the current expiration date under the CARES Act which Congress approved in March.
These federal powers will be now extended so that the central bank can “aid the flow of credit and provide loans to mid-sized businesses.”
The deal included a provision that would require congressional approval, should the powers need to be extended.
Toomey’s concern involved Democrats and the incoming Biden administration from potentially hijacking the spending for their own proposals. Now, they will be unable to do so without a congressional vote.
As for the stimulus bills, Business Insider reports the pair of bills will include a single-time $600 stimulus check for every American and the extension of unemployment benefits.
The whopping $2 trillion package will be passed on Sunday, although congressional members will only but mere hours to read through the new agreement.
From the report:
Now Congress is on course for a rapid-fire series of votes on Sunday. It sets up a very narrow margin of error for lawmakers, given that they are also attempting to pass a $1.4 trillion spending package to fund federal agencies into next year.
Congressional leaders are aiming to combine both, and they could have only hours to review broad spending legislation that surpasses $2 trillion.
A failure from Congress to pass a new relief package carries potentially calamitous consequences for many Americans. Unemployment claims have risen for the past three weeks, and nearly 13 million people are threatened with the loss of all their unemployment assistance if some federal measures are not renewed by year’s end.
An eviction on moratoriums also expires on December 31, which would put millions of Americans at risk of losing their homes.