PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, announced Sunday evening that Congressional leaders have agreed on a $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill that will provide a second stimulus check of $600 to most Americans. Still, late Sunday a vote had still not occurred.
“We can finally report what our nation has needed for a very long time. More help is on the way,” McConnell said.”
“Our agreement will provide another round of direct impact payments to help households make ends meet and continue our economic recovery,” he added.
Democratic leaders said Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pennsylvania, stalled the process over the weekend, pushing for a proposal to end some of the Federal Reserve Bank’s emergency lending programs instituted by the CARES Act.
“These are the programs that were funded by the CARES Act, were set up at the time of the CARES Act for this narrow specific purpose, and now they’ve achieved their purpose,” Toomey said.
In the meantime, community organizations like the Fishtown Neighbors Association have helped people stay afloat. FNA launched a mutual aid program at the beginning of the pandemic where neighbors can submit requests for needs, like grocery store gift cards.
“We’ve had about 800 requests at this point, between gift cards and cloth masks, and deliveries,” Katherine Clayton, FNA’s events committee chair, said. “The food insecurity kind of rose up and we’ve had a lot of people looking for food.”
The follow-up to March’s CARES Act includes $300 in additional unemployment benefits for the next 10 weeks, as well as funding for renters facing eviction and small and minority-owned businesses.
Reaction to the deal is a mixed bag, with some saying any relief is better than none at all and others telling Eyewitness News that $600 is just not enough.
“Could it be more? Yes. But at one time, they were talking about not having anything, so I think Americans need something now,” LaShawn Braxton of Philadelphia said.
“It’s ridiculous and I think it’s like, it’s terrible that they’re saying, $600 is enough for you guys, like good luck. That’s not enough,” Meg Tilton of South Philadelphia said. “Why can’t we support our people? They are people literally dying and not being able to pay their rent and feed their families right now.”
The full $600 direct payment will apply to individuals making less than $75,000 per year and couples making less than $150,000, plus $600 dollars per child dependent.
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