COVID-19 relief bill negotiations may push for weekend sessions

WASHINGTON – Negotiations on the COVID-19 relief bill may push through Friday and the weekend to renew unemployment benefits, issue $600 individual payments, and aid to increase food stamp benefits and prevent evictions.

On Thursday, Republicans and Democrats were still in disagreement on the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve lending programs. The bill also includes funding for schools, coronavirus vaccine distribution, farm subsidies and more than $300 billion for businesses.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the Senate is not going to leave Washington for the holidays until the $900 billion COVID relief bill is finalized in combination with the $1.4 trillion federal government funding bill.

The CARES Act, the only federal bill passed to help Americans during the coronavirus pandemic, passed in March with direct payments of $1,200.

Torres contributed to this report from Miami.

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The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.