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

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.

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December 17, 2020 - 9:03 AM

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) walks to open up the Senate floor at the U.S. Capitol on December 16, 2020, in Washington, DC. "Everybody wants to finish," McConnell said late Tuesday as legislators were wrapping up negotiations for the evening. "Everybody wants to get a final agreement as soon as possible." (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images/TNS)

WASHINGTON (AP) — 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.

The long-delayed measure was coming together as Capitol Hill combatants finally fashioned difficult compromises, often at the expense of more ambitious Democratic wishes for the legislation, to complete the second major relief package of the coronavirus pandemic.

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.

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