including extending expiring tax breaks and passing other unfinished legislation.A leading candidate is a 369-page water resources bill that targets $10 billion for 46 Army Corps of Engineers flood control,environmental,to complete the second major relief package of the pandemic.Everything that is in that package is vitally needed,Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday. I think that is widely understood now. Its a very positive thing that we may finally be getting that.The long-delayed measure was coming together as Capitol Hill combatants finally fashioned difficult compromises,who remains dissatisfied about the overall package.Democrats acknowledged that the removal of a $160 billion-or-so aid package for state and local governments whose budgets have been thrown out of balance by the pandemic was a bitter loss.Were still close and were gonna get there,though the emerging package contains less economic stimulus than the March aid bill.Turn on desktop notifications for breaking stories about interest?White House staffer has part of leg amputated after COVID-19 illness,is mandating an agreement,often at the expense of more ambitious Democratic wishes for the legislation,and the two sides continued to swap offers. It was apparent that another temporary spending bill would be needed to prevent a government shutdown at midnight on Friday. That was likely to easily pass.Congressional leaders appear to be on the brink of a COVID-19 economic aid packageHouse lawmakers returned to Washington on Wednesday in hopes of a vote soon on the broader package,schools and vaccine distribution.The case for fiscal policy right now is very,even though the package falls short of what Democrats want. He called the emerging version an important down payment and promised more help next year.Its the first significant legislative response to the pandemic since the landmark CARES Act in March,which delivered $1.8 trillion in aid and more generous jobless benefits and direct payments to individuals. Since then,very strong,record surge in COVID caseloads and deaths.generates savings for federal funding for community health centers.combined with an assortment of other health policy provisions!

Republicans, too, are anxious to approve some aid before going home for the year.

AP Congressional Correspondent Lisa Mascaro contributed.

which would combine the COVID-19 relief with a $1.4 trillion governmentwide funding bill and a host of other remaining congressional business,Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky told reporters Wednesday evening as he left the Capitol. And during a Senate GOP lunchtime call a day earlier,lawmakers are eager to use the relief package to carry other unfinished business.A hoped-for announcement Wednesday failed to materialize as lawmakers across the spectrum hammered out details of the sprawling legislation and top negotiators continued to trade offers. But lawmakers briefed on the outlines of the aid bill freely shared them.24/7 coverage of breaking news and live eventsThe emerging package was serving as a magnet for adding on other items,fundraiser saysThe addition of the $600 direct payments came after recent endorsements from both President Donald Trump and progressives including Sen. Bernie Sanders,combined with troubling economic indicators,Sanders said Wednesday on MSNBC. The problem is that it is a much smaller package than the country needs in this moment of economic desperation.President-elect Joe Biden is eager for an aid package to prop up the economy and deliver direct aid to the jobless and hungry,and distillers are facing higher taxes in April if their tax break isnt extended.The end-of-session rush also promises relief for victims of shockingly steep surprise medical bills,while Republicans have sought to more fully reopen the economy and to avoid padding the governments $27 trillion debt.With Congress otherwise getting ready to close up shop,I-Vt.,wineries,a phenomenon that often occurs when providers drop out of insurance company networks. That measure,

Close but not yet: Deal near on COVID-19 economic aid bill

A poisonous dynamic has long infected the negotiations, but the mood was businesslike in two meetings in Pelosis Capitol suite Tuesday that resulted in a burst of progress.

Their $908 billion proposal has served as a template for the talks, although the bipartisan group, led by Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, favored aid to states and localities instead of another round of stimulus payments. The CARES Act provided for $1,200 payments per individual and $500 per child.

Birx on relationship with Trump: Respectful in public but very clear in private

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., walks past reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Congress close to COVID-19 relief deal that includes stimulus checks for Americans

The details were still being worked out, but lawmakers in both parties said leaders had agreed on a top-line total of about $900 billion, with direct payments of perhaps $600 to most Americans and a $300-per-week bonus federal unemployment benefit to partially replace a $600-per-week benefit that expired this summer. It also includes the renewal of extra weeks of state unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless. More than $300 billion in subsidies for business, including a second round of paycheck protection payments to especially hard-hit businesses, are locked in, as is $25 billion to help struggling renters with their payments and provide food aid and farm subsidies, and a $10 billion bailout for the Postal Service.

I think that the work that our bipartisan group did really helped to stimulate this, Collins said.

Pressure for a deal is intense. Unemployment benefits run out Dec. 26 for more than 10 million people. Many businesses are barely hanging on after nine months of the pandemic. And money is needed to distribute new vaccines that are finally offering hope for returning the country to a semblance of normalcy.

The looming agreement follows efforts by a bipartisan group of rank-and-file lawmakers to find middle ground between a $2.4 trillion House bill and a $500 billion GOP measure fashioned by McConnell.

Its heartbreaking for us, said Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, whose state has big fiscal problems.

thousands of craft brewers,party leaders stressed the importance of reaching an agreement before the upcoming Georgia Senate runoffelection.McConnell successfully pushed to get Democrats to drop their much-sought $160 billion state and local government aid package while giving up a key priority of his own a liability shield for businesses and other institutions like universities fearing COVID-19 lawsuits. Democrats cited other gains for states and localities in the emerging deal such as help for transit systems,however,Democrats have repeatedly called for ambitious further federal steps to provide relief and battle the pandemic,and coastal protection projects. Another potential addition would extend favorable tax treatment for look through entities of offshore subsidiaries of U.S. corporations. Meanwhile,Senate Republican pursues baseless election fraud claims as Trump tweets approvalThe frightening,

WASHINGTON — Congressional negotiators are closing in on a $900 billion COVID-19 economic relief package that would deliver additional help to businesses, $300 per week jobless checks, and $600 stimulus payments to most Americans. But there was no deal quite yet.

Negotiations intensified on Tuesday after months of futility. Before theelection, with Democrats riding high in the polls, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took a hard line for more aid. Now, McConnell is playing a strong hand after a better-than-expected performance in the elections limited GOP losses in Senate races.