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Stimulus update: Here’s the latest on second checks and unemployment as Congress returns

After a Thanksgiving break during which many Americans stayed at home due to an alarming spike in COVID-19 infections, Congressional lawmakers are back this week for the final legislative days of the year. Even as the pandemic continues to spiral out of control, Democrats and Republicans have yet to agree on a stimulus and relief package that millions of people so desperately need—and have needed for months. Here’s the latest update as we head into December:

THE LATEST STIMULUS PROPOSAL

According to the Washington Post, a group of Senators made up of both Democrats and Republicans are preparing to propose a stimulus package today. At roughly $908 billion, this one is more than the $500 billion “targeted” package that Republicans had proposed earlier, but less than the $2 trillion package that Democrats have been insisting on. In other words: a compromise.

WHAT’S IN THE NEW PACKAGE?

Details are still being worked out, the Post reports, but it could include $300 a week in federal unemployment, $300 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, and $500 billion for health measures, including vaccine distribution. Noticeably absent are direct payments to Americans in the form of stimulus checks.

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