Congress close to finalizing $900 billion COVID-19 aid bill with $600-$700 stimulus checks and extended unemployment benefits

On Wednesday, U.S. congressional negotiators continue to go back and forth over details of a $900 billion COVID-19 emergency aid bill, expected to include $600-$700 stimulus checks and extended unemployment benefits.

From Reuters:

But congressional aides were struggling on Wednesday to draft legislative language as rates of COVID-19 infections soar to new highs, even as the United States starts to vaccinate people. The American economy is showing signs of weakening.

The measure, to be attached to a massive spending bill that must pass by Friday to avert a government shutdown, was not expected to include a dedicated funding stream for state and local governments, which has been a key Democratic priority, but opposed by Republicans, or new protections for companies from lawsuits related to the pandemic, something high on the Republican agenda.

More: Lawmakers haggle over details as U.S. Congress closes in on $900 billion COVID-19 aid bill