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USA TODAY

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Sep 18, 2020
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This year, Americans were thrown a lifeline in the midst of a pandemic that spurred a recession unlike any other: a round of direct aid payments. Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, those payments maxed out at $1,200 per adult and $500 per child under 17, and they helped households keep up with their bills in the face of job losses and economic uncertainty.

Lawmakers spent the better part of the summer duking it out over a second relief bill, and the expectation was that they'd come to an agreement to facilitate a follow-up round of direct payments by September at the latest. Lo and behold, we're in mid-September, and no such deal has been signed. Which means payments are deadlocked as well.

As if that weren't enough to make Americans give up on ever getting a second check, Republicans presented a pared-down bill last week that did not include a payment. That proposal failed to advance in the Senate.

A new development on COVID-19 relief lends a little optimism that another round of payments might be in the cards after all. That's something desperate Americans will really pull for.

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