PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky announced Sunday evening that leaders of Congress have agreed on a $ 900 billion COVID-19 bill that will give most Americans a second Will allow stimulus check of $ 600. No vote had taken place late on Sunday.
“We can finally report what our nation has needed for a very long time. More help is on the way, ”said McConnell.
"Our agreement will include another round of direct impact payments to help households make ends meet and continue our economic recovery," he added.
Democratic leaders said Senator Pat Toomey, R-Pennsylvania, stalled the process over the weekend, pushing for a proposal to end some of the Federal Reserve Bank's emergency loan programs introduced by CARES.
"These are the programs that were funded by the CARES Act and were set up at the time of the CARES Act for that narrow specific purpose, and now they have achieved their purpose," Toomey said.
Meanwhile, community organizations like the Fishtown Neighbors Association have helped people stay afloat. At the start of the pandemic, the FNA launched a mutual aid program that allows neighbors to submit requests as needed, such as gift cards for grocery stores.
"At that point, we had approximately 800 gift card and cloth mask requests and deliveries," said Katherine Clayton, chair of the FNA events committee. "Food insecurity has increased and we have had a lot of people looking for food."
The March follow-up to the CARES Act includes additional unemployment benefits of $ 300 for the next 10 weeks, as well as funding for tenants at risk of eviction, as well as small and minority businesses.
The response to the deal has been mixed. Some say any relief is better than none, others tell Eyewitness News that $ 600 just isn't enough.
“Could it be more? Yes. But at one time they were talking about not having anything, so I think Americans need something now, ”said LaShawn Braxton of Philadelphia.
"It's ridiculous and I think it's terrible that they say $ 600 is enough for you guys, how lucky. That's not enough," said Meg Tilton from South Philadelphia. "Why can't we support our people? They are people who are literally dying and unable to pay their rent or support their families right now. "
The full direct payment of $ 600 applies to individuals earning less than $ 75,000 per year and couples earning less than $ 150,000, plus $ 600 per dependent child.
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