KEY POINTS

  • The $900 billion relief deal includes $600 stimulus checks and $300 unemployment benefits
  • The bill would likely follow stimulus check eligibility outlined in CARES Act
  • The Treasury Department could send out checks as soon as the bill passes

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Sunday announced that Congress had reached an agreement on a $900 billion bipartisan deal, bringing an end to months of negotiations. 

The economic relief package will reportedly bring millions of Americans a temporary $300 weekly unemployment benefit and a $600 stimulus check. The plan will also include federal aid to small businesses, schools, and renters. 

“As the American people continue battling the coronavirus this holiday season, they will not be on their own. Congress has just reached an agreement. We will pass another rescue package ASAP. More help is on the way,” McConnell wrote in a tweet. 

 

Millions of jobless Americans could start receiving their unemployment benefits as early as Dec. 27. The relief would only last 10 weeks, instead of the 16 weeks under March’s CARES Act. 

The new bipartisan bill would likely have the same income limits as the March bill. The payment would begin to diminish for individuals who earned more than $75,000 in 2019 and disappear for Americans who earned more than $99,000. 

It is unlikely that adult dependants would be qualified to receive direct payments, people with knowledge of the negotiations said. The new bill is expected to include $600 checks for families where one parent is not an American citizen. 

Individuals whose direct payment information is filed with the Internal Revenue Service would likely be first in line to receive the payments. Americans who had previously registered their details using online tools that the IRS built this spring also might receive the payments early. 

In August, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin promised that the processing of checks would begin as soon as Congress passes the bill. 

“I can get out 50 million payments really quickly. A lot of it into people’s direct accounts,” Mnuchin said

Should the federal aid eligibility resemble the qualifications for the CARES Act, Social Security beneficiaries who use direct deposit for their benefit payment also might receive the stimulus cash quickly. 

Americans who qualify for stimulus payments but have not shared their bank account details with the IRS may receive a paper check or a prepaid debit card from the government.  Congressional leaders are nearing a deal on a new spending package to help the pandemic-battered US economy Congressional leaders are nearing a deal on a new spending package to help the pandemic-battered US economy Photo: AFP / MANDEL NGAN