The $200 billion of new spending includes two free years of community college for all Americans and another $226 billion to subsidize child care
In Trump’s final days as president, he has aligned himself more with House liberal Democrats than with members of his party.
The massive bill is a compromise that leaves most members of Congress saying there is much more that needs to be done and doing so will happen in a new Congress with a new president.
The aid package, the second one this year, gives individuals payments about half the size of the previous one, but more is promised after a new president takes office on Jan. 20.
After haggling and trying to work angles, Democrats and Republicans have reached a consensus to both keep the government running and provide new aid to businesses and residents suffering from the severe economic hardships of the pandemic. Critics say the aid is not enough and a drive to hand out more will be a priority when the new Congress is sworn in next year.
That hope has been expressed before but the lingering disagreements keep sinking a final agreement.
Congress managed to find a way to keep the government running for two more days but still cannot get closure on pandemic aid funding.
With a temporary funding bill deadline at midnight Friday, the House and Senate face additional tasks with much to do and dwindling time to do it.
While direct payments of $600 to individuals is less than many wanted, it is a need that most can support to get a quick aid package out the door.