Republican and Democratic congressional leaders finally struck a deal on a long-awaited $900 billion relief package on Sunday, following a months-long stalemate after passing the CARES Act back in March.
According to the New York Times, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the deal on the Senate floor. “We can finally report what our nation has needed to hear for a very long time: More help is on the way,” he said.
Unfortunately that “help on the way” is peanuts compared to what is needed by millions of Americans struggling to pay rent or meet other basic needs as the economy collapses during the global pandemic. While the final piece of legislation is still in the works, the Times reports that it is expected to provide $600 stimulus payments to qualifying Americans, half of the $1,200 we received from the government more than six months ago at the beginning of the crisis.
The deal also extends unemployment benefits that were set to lapse next week, and will likely include rental and food assistance, money for schools and small businesses, and a revival of the Paycheck Protection Program.
News of this deal prompted angry reactions from many who consider the $600 relief checks a slap in the face to the countless working-class people who are struggling to keep their homes and survive through the holiday season. People shared their criticism online, dragging congressional leaders for the puny offering.