Senate Passes COVID Relief

The U.S. Senate voted 92-7 to pass the coronavirus relief package and merged it with the $1.4 trillion appropriations omnibus to fund the federal government until September 30, 2021. The House passed the omnibus and COVID relief packages earlier in the evening.

PIA has actively advocated for several of the provisions contained in the COVID relief package, including several updates to vital relief programs. The COVID relief parts of the bill include an additional $300 from the federal government in weekly unemployment benefits to continue through mid-March, $600 in direct payments for eligible individuals, more than $300 billion in small business aid, and funding for public K-12 schools, a pay raise for members of the military, and vaccine distribution. More detail on the small business provisions can be found in our previous blog post here.

Both chambers also passed a seven-day continuing resolution (CR) funding measure to prevent a federal government shutdown because funding authority is set to run out again at midnight tonight. The CR is needed because the package’s enrolling process is likely to take a few days, due to its size and complexity.

The bill was signed into law on December 27th, 2020.