Congress late Monday easily approved a second major coronavirus bailout for President Donald Trump's signature, ending nearly nine months of very public and sometimes bitter partisan haggling.
But the respite may not be long as Democratic leaders say they plan to seek more help after President-elect Joe Biden moves into the White House, while Republicans say the final round of aid will likely be the last .
The Senate voted 91-7 to approve nearly $ 900 billion in incentives, primarily provided through small business loan programs, direct household payments, and improved unemployment benefits. The money was part of a larger bill of roughly $ 2.4 trillion that also included government funding through September 2021.
In the House of Representatives, legislators voted on the bill in two parts, with the part including the subsidy ranged from 359 to 53 and the other part approved between 327 and 85.
"It doesn't go all the way, but it does lead us the way, a first step," said House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi. She said states needed a second round of direct federal aid to avoid laying off police, fire and health workers, a provision that didn't make it onto the bill.
"It's aimed right at exactly what the country needs right now," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said during an appearance on Fox News.
"If they want to do more after the new government takes office, we'll look at that based on the conditions in the country at the time," he said.
Legislators took their first look at the almost 5,600-page legislative text, just hours before the vote. While some grumbled that there was nowhere near enough time to review the contents, most lawmakers were relieved to close the coronavirus deal nearly nine months after the $ 1.7 trillion CARES bill ended March had been adopted.
In addition to nearly $ 900 billion in stimulus spending and tax breaks, the bill includes a total of $ 1.4 trillion in annual funding for federal agencies and a tax department with approximately $ 167 billion to extend or revive temporary tax breaks and Clean energy tax rules for a rough sum of about $ 2.4 trillion.
The package includes an extension of the federal pandemic-related unemployment programs and a resuscitation of an unemployment supplement, $ 300 per week for 11 weeks. It includes another round of direct payments to households of $ 600 per person per child and ensures that families with mixed legal citizenship are eligible for these payments.
Trump is expected to sign the bill. Speaking on CNBC, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the direct payments could be out the door as soon as next week.
See also: How much do you get with new stimulus checks and additional federal unemployment benefits?
It includes $ 284 billion for a second round of the paycheck protection program, which provided unsuccessful loans to small businesses, and $ 15 billion in grants for live entertainment venues and event organizers, as well as performing arts groups and cinema and theater operators Museums.
Another $ 82 billion would go to schools and colleges to help them cope with the pandemic and upgrade their facilities to make them safer.
The agreement contains a number of provisions designed to help individuals and families who have been hard hit financially by the pandemic. Federal food aid and child nutrition would receive an additional $ 13 billion. Another $ 25 billion would be used for rental support and an eviction moratorium would be extended.
Read: A dispute over the emergency powers of the Fed, for example, almost brought the economic stimulus package to a standstill
Even things that didn't seem to have anything to do with the pandemic made it into the deal. A bipartisan plan to curb unexpected "surprise" medical bills was included, along with tax breaks for clean energy and an expansion of Pell grants for students. A temporary provision that allows full tax deductibility of business meals should cost the state $ 6.3 billion in revenue over a three-year period.
While the vote on Monday evening marked the end of months of negotiations between Pelosi, McConnell and Mnuchin over several months, the legislature and a Biden White House could return to the negotiating table in early 2021.
Read: "That's probably about it for a while": Hard Path earmarked for more stimulus as Biden urges more help
Several aid programs aimed at lessening the budgetary impact of the pandemic are slated to end in the coming months, which is likely to lead Democrats to try and expand it. The eviction moratorium contained in the bill expires at the end of January, while several pandemic-related unemployment benefits expire in mid-March and the revived credit authority of the PPP expires at the end of March.
Additionally, two issues were ultimately removed from Monday's bill and could re-emerge in a new negotiation – increased COVID-19 corporate and nonprofit liability coverage that the Republicans were looking for, and direct aid to state, local and tribal governments, a Democratic one Priority.
McConnell said protecting against unfounded lawsuits against small businesses and nonprofits is a must in future talks.
"If there is another coronavirus relief bill after the first year, I will insist that liability protection for these universities and health care providers be part of it," he said.
“This bill cannot and will not be the last word to ease Congress off the coronavirus pandemic. This is an emergency survival kit, ”said Chuck Schumer, Democratic Senate chairman.
"And when we come back in January, our main job will be to fill in the loopholes left by the bill and then get the economy moving with strong federal input."
Republican Senator John Thune, who spoke to reporters last week, cautioned Democrats against assuming there would be another bite of the apple whether Republicans retain control of the Senate after two races in Georgia were decided on Jan. 5 were, or even if so, filibuster legislation in the minority.
"I think the incoming government sees it as something they can do every now and then so that they can come back next year. Much of it probably depends on what is happening in Georgia," he said.
"But even there, you know, it takes 60 votes to do something in the Senate."