The House and Senate passed a $900 billion coronavirus relief bill and a $1.4 trillion government funding measure Monday night after months of gridlock on Capitol Hill.
Why it matters: The bill’s passage comes before many of the existing coronavirus relief measures were set to expire on January 1. It also staves off a government shutdown.
The big picture: While the plan is roughly half the size of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act Congress passed in March, it is still one of the most expensive rescue packages in modern history.
Democratic leaders, who backed down significantly from their previous push for another $2 trillion bill, say they view this deal as a “down payment” — something to tide Americans over until Joe Biden takes office and they can pass additional stimulus.
But some lawmakers, including progressives, are skeptical Biden will be able to do this as easily as Democrats are projecting — especially given many Republicans have resumed their posture as deficit hawks now that Trump is on his way out, and vaccines are being distributed across the country.
For the record: The House passed the measure, 359-53, while the Senate vote was 92-6.
The six Republican senators who voted against the bill: Sens. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Rick Scott of Florida, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Mike Lee of Utah, and Ted Cruz of Texas.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated with more details, including on the Senate vote and further context.