After months of negotiations Congress has finally approved a COVID-19 relief package for an amount of USD 900 billion. Here are a few highlights of the provisions made in the bill that aims to not only tackle the pandemic, but also empower people who have suffered economically because of it:

  • direct payments of up to USD 600 per adult
  • improved jobless benefits of USD 300 per week
  • approximately USD 284 billion in Paycheck Protection Program loans
  • USD 25 billion in rental assistance
  • an extension of the eviction moratorium and $82 billion for schools and colleges

When it comes to allocations for fighting COVID-19, the bill for provides for:

USD 20 billion to buy and make vaccines available to anyone who wants them

USD 8 billion for vaccine distribution

USD 20 billion to improve Coronavirus testing infrastructure

There are also provisions to support small businesses, tax breaks for businesses offering paid sick leaves as well as provisions for improving transportation.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi addressed the media the previous evening to shed light on the provisions of the stimulus bill. “It’s a first step. We need to do more,” said Pelosi, adding, “What gives us hope is a vaccine and we have to make that available free and fairly, equitably distributed in our country.”

Pelosi’s entire press conference may be viewed here:

The bill now just needs President Donald Trump’s signature.

* Feature image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.