Both chambers of Congress passed an additional coronavirus relief package, with a $900 billion price tag, on Monday night. The legislation includes a provision to deliver direct payments to eligible Americans, though this package only allocates $600 per individual.
Congressional leaders negotiated the fine-print of the eventual package for months, as Democrats continued to block legislation put forth by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). The Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Stimulus (CARES) Act, passed in March, originally provided $1,200 stimulus checks to Americans. Though the number this time around is significantly lower, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that the funds legislated in the new package passed on Monday are still “significant.”
While the speaker applauds a $600 payment measure within the newly-passed package, she characterized a $1,000 bonus given to working Americans via corporations, thanks to the historic Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, as “crumbs.”
"In terms of the bonus that corporate America received versus the crumbs that they are giving workers to kind of put the schmooze on is so pathetic," Pelosi said at the time. "It’s so pathetic."
Though Pelosi said the bonuses were no more than "crumbs" to working Americans, the tax cuts passed by the Republican-led Congress overwhelmingly benefited the middle class.
The newly-passed relief package, deemed “significant” by Pelosi, awaits President Trump’s signature.