Many Americans and businesses could be receiving a financial boost in the coming days, thanks to a last minute Congressional scramble to pass a $900 billion relief bill intended to address economic hardships inflicted by COVID-19 pandemic.
Congressional leaders released the bill — the result of eight months of negotiations — in the twilight of the current Congressional session. Because of internal squabbles and a last minute computer glitch that delayed the printing and posting of the bill on Monday, members will only have a matter of hours to examine the legislation before they are expected to vote late on Monday.
The House and the Senate passed the bill Monday evening. The COVID-19 aid was paired with a larger spending bill that would fund the government through September.
Cruz and other Republicans praised provisions of the aid, but objected to the circumstance that it was tied to a massive spending bill with unrelated provisions.
“Had this bill been solely focused on re-opening the economy, getting Americans back to work, and jump starting a recovery, it would have had my enthusiastic support,” Cruz said in a statement.
The most direct impact the legislation will have on the average American is a $600 payment to individuals making less than $75,000. The payout will be reduced for those making between $75,000 and $99,000 and will not apply to individuals who earn more than $99,000 a year. The bill will reinstate supplemental unemployment benefits of $300 per week. This is half of what was allocated for individuals in the previous COVID-19 economic package.
The new legislation will also extend eviction protection through the end of January.