As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the United States, millions of Americans are in dire need of financial assistance. The first stimulus package, passed in March of 2020, provided a lifeline to many individuals and businesses. However, those benefits have long since expired, leaving many wondering what is next. In recent months, the government has debated a new stimulus package, and the big question on everyone’s mind is, did Congress reach an agreement on the stimulus package?
After months of negotiations and setbacks, the news broke in late December 2020 that a new stimulus package was finally on the horizon. The bill, which included over $900 billion in aid, provided much-needed relief to people struggling with unemployment, as well as small businesses and schools that have been hit hard by the pandemic.
The package included direct payments of $600 to eligible Americans, as well as an extension of unemployment benefits and deferred student loan payments. Small businesses were eligible for forgivable loans through the Paycheck Protection Program, which was set up to help them keep their employees on the payroll.
While the package was a step in the right direction, many are still wondering if Congress reached an agreement on the stimulus package that truly meets the needs of struggling Americans. Critics point out that the direct payments of $600 are simply not enough to make a substantial impact, particularly in areas with high costs of living. The package also neglected to include funding for state and local governments, which are facing severe budget shortfalls as a result of the pandemic.
Overall, the stimulus package provides some much-needed relief, but it is clear that much more needs to be done to support those who are struggling most in the current economic climate. The nation waits to see if further aid will be forthcoming from Congress as the pandemic continues to impact the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans.