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Mitch McConnell says leadership finalized $900 billion coronavirus deal

Capitol Hill leaders finalized a roughly $900 billion coronavirus relief package Saturday, breaking through seven months of partisan gridlock to tee up much-needed relief before the holidays.

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“More Help is on the way,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said. “At long last, we have the bipartisan breakthrough the country has needed.”

The final text of the deal has not been released, but it is expected to include a round of scaled-back $600 direct stimulus payments, $300 a week in boosted unemployment benefits, more than $300 billion for small business relief, and billions more to fund resources for schools, hospitals, vaccine distribution, and testing.

The timing for a vote in either chamber is still in flux, but with a deal finally agreed upon, lawmakers are up against the clock to get it passed, with a short-term funding measure set to expire on Sunday at midnight.

The deal will include another round of small business Paycheck Protection Program, extended unemployment benefits, more direct stimulus payments, and “huge sums” for vaccines, schools

The emergency relief package will be tied to $1.4 trillion of funds to keep government running throughout the next year.

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Mr. McConnell also took aim at Democrats, saying they unnecessarily dragged out the negotiations for months for political purposes.

Democrats have accepted a much lower price tag than the mutli-trillion packages they were pushing earlier this year because of the incoming Biden administration and said they see this relief deal as only a down payment.

This is the first comprehensive package Congress is set to pass since the spring.

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