Congress’s COVID Relief Bill Includes Direct Checks. It’s Still Not Enough to Help Most Vulnerable
After months of inaction, Congress finally appears close to passing a second, $900 billion coronavirus stimulus package. The agreement is likely to include additional unemployment assistance of $300 a week and one-time direct cash payments of between $600 and $700 for people in the U.S. — a sharp reduction from the first COVID check of $1,200. The COVID-19 relief checks were put back in the bill after a major push from the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. A new study reports 8 million Americans have been pushed into poverty since the summer, in part due to a lack of federal assistance. “It’s just staggering that Congress can’t come together to help people in their time of need,” says David Dayen, executive editor of The American Prospect, who has been following stimulus talks closely.