Speed Reads

Big Bill

Senate clears $2.3 trillion government spending, COVID-19 relief package, sending it to Trump's desk

The Senate overwhelmingly passed the combined $1.4 trillion government spending and $900 billion COVID-19 relief package Monday night, sending the bipartisan legislation to President Trump's desk. Trump is expected to sign the bill, which passed in the House, 359-53, earlier Monday evening. The Senate cleared the bill on a 91-7 vote. It is the last piece of legislation Congress is expected to vote on this year, unless Trump vetoes the National Defense Authorization Act.

The $1.4 trillion part of the bill funds the government through Sept. 30, 2021, and the COVID-19 stimulus package authorizes $600 direct payments to most Americans, replenishes a loan program for small businesses, extends augmented federal unemployment benefits and a moratorium on evictions, and provides money for renters, schools, and food stamps, among other things. The package also creates Smithsonian museums focused on women and Latinos, legislates an end to surprise medical billing, and allows tax deductions for business lunches. It is all wrapped up in a massive 5,600-page bill, among the longest pieces of legislation ever considered in Congress.