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What’s in the $900 billion coronavirus relief deal Congress just brokered

Stimulus checks, extended unemployment and small business loans among key provisions.

Updated: December 21, 2020 - 9:00am

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Sunday evening a final deal on a long-awaited COVID-19 relief and stimulus package totaling about $900 billion.

The House and Senate could vote to approve the package as early as Monday, and President Trump is expected to sign it.

“More help is on the way,” McConnell, R-Ky., said when he announced the deal on the Senate floor.

Added House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer: “We are going to crush the virus and put money in the pockets of the American people.”

The two chambers passed a one-day extension of federal funding Sunday night to ensure the government stayed open until the bill is passed.

Here are highlights of the deal, according to various summaries released by lawmakers late Sunday:

Individual stimulus checks:  The bill offers up to $600 stimulus checks per person, including adults and children, for families making less than $99,000 annually. The payment begins decreasing for those above $75,000 in annual income.

Business relief: The bill includes more than $284 billion for more forgiveable Paycheck Protection Program loans. The bill expands eligibility for nonprofit organizations and news outlets, and lets churches and faith-based organizations qualify.

Jobless benefits: Unemployment benefits of up to $300 per week will be extended at least through March 14.

Tax relief: Businesses that received PPP loans and had them forgiven will be allowed to deduct the costs covered by those loans on their federal taxes. The bill also will provide a White House-backed tax break for corporate meal expenses.

COVID vaccine assistance: The bill sets aside $48 billion for COVID health care needs, including $20 billion to make vaccines available for free to those who need it.

Entertainment industry aid: The legislation will provide $15 billion for independent movie theaters and cultural institutions.

Eviction moratorium: The legislation extends until Jan. 31 a moratorium on evictions that was slated to expire at the end of the year.

Rent Assistance: The deal provides $25 billion in emergency assistance to renters.

Education funding: There is $82 billion set aside for colleges and schools to fund AC and heating repair and retrofitting to reduce coronavirus risks and reopen classrooms.

Child Care Aid. The deal provides $10 billion for child care assistance.