Following months of delays, the House on Monday passed the $900-billion COVID-19 relief bill, which will now move to the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced on Sunday that “the four leaders of the Senate and the House finalized an agreement” on the package, which would provide direct payments and jobless aid to struggling Americans and funds for small businesses, hospitals, schools and vaccine distribution.
The House approved a sweeping $900 billion covid relief package (359-53), tied with a $1.4 trillion spending bill to keep the government open through September 2021. The 5,593-page bill, which was unveiled about seven hours ago, will now go to the Senate. A deal on the relief bill was reached on Sunday.
The 5,593 page legislation extends economic assistance as millions of Americans continue to struggle financially as cases of COVID-19 surge across the country. It includes another round of direct stimulus checks — this time for $600 per adult who are in certain income thresholds, and the same amount for children. The bill also provides an extension of enhanced unemployment insurance benefits for up to $300 per week and lengthens the maximum number of weeks.
The package also includes $25 billion in rental assistance and extends a ban on evictions that was scheduled to expire at the end of January. To address the increasing number of those with food insecurity, $13 billion was added to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
A part of the massive 5,500+ page government funding/COVID-relief package includes a legislative priority for the entertainment industry which will bump up the penalty for operating a for-profit illegal streaming service from a misdemeanor to a felony.
Felony streaming. Establishes criminal penalties, including prison time, for those who “willfully, and for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain, offer or provide to the public a digital transmission service” that offers unauthorized movies and TV shows. Penalties include fines and sentences of up to three years, or five years if the offense involved one or more titles, and “the person knew or should have 7 known that the work was being prepared for 8 commercial public performance.”