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Stimulus checks are becoming increasingly more likely

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  • Tip Bones

The White House and Congressional leaders are getting closer to a coronavirus relief deal according to sources close to negotiations. While the dollar amount isn't clear yet, the deal seems to be around $900 billion and will most likely include direct payments to Americans. The package should include money to distribute COVID-19 vaccines, small-business funding, and federal jobless benefits. 

So far an income cap has not been established for stimulus checks like was done in March, some aides claim that everyone could get $600 others say it could be higher. This is the first time in months congressional leaders sound positive about another stimulus plan. Senate majority Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said, "We made major headway toward hammering out a targeted pandemic relief package that would be able to pass both chambers with bipartisan majorities... We committed to continuing these urgent discussions until we have an agreement, and we agreed we will not leave town until we've made law."

House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., said at a press conference, "Of course, there is a strong desire to ensure that there are direct payments to everyday Americans who have been struggling month to month." The plan was originally based on a $748 billion proposal but did not include stimulus checks but has since shifted to include them after pressure from members like Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and President Donald Trump.

Lawmakers are attempting to finalize the deal by Friday, Dec. 18, which is when Congress hits their legislation for government funding. Both parties are in favor of attaching a COVID-19 relief package to the government funding bill. Senate Majority Whip John Thune, R-S.D., told reporters that payments are being discussed at "$600 to $700 per individual" and "As far as the deadline on Friday - it could, I mean by the time everything gets processed, but i think there's a real incentive to get it done by then... I think both sides are sufficiently motivated given the time of the year and everything that's at stake and trying to get virus relief out there."