Congress Closes in on COVID-19 Relief, Funding Deal

Congressional leaders said Tuesday night they are making progress on a sweeping deal to fund the government and provide coronavirus relief but hadn’t yet clinched an agreement.

The top four congressional leaders met twice Tuesday as they race the clock to try to fund the government by Friday and break a months-long stalemate to provide more coronavirus aid.

The bipartisan package was split into two different bills. One $748 billion piece includes another round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) assistance for small businesses, an unemployment benefit and more money for schools, vaccine distribution and other widely agreed upon items.

The second, $160 billion piece ties together the two most controversial elements of the coronavirus negotiations: more money for state and local governments and protections from coronavirus-related lawsuits.