Congressional leaders said Wednesday that they are nearing agreement on a roughly $900 billion economic relief package that would include a second round of stimulus checks and could be completed by the end of this week.

The package emerging is expected to include hundreds of billions of dollars in aid for ailing small businesses and jobless Americans; tens of billions of dollars in aid for other critical needs, such as vaccine distribution and schools; and a one-time check of between $600 and $700 for millions of Americans below a certain income threshold.

The relief bill is likely to be coupled with several other major legislative efforts — from legislation to fund federal agencies to a bipartisan effort to rein in surprise medical billing — that lawmakers could then pass into law in a matter of days.

Lawmakers are racing to pass a deal in part because of widespread signs of economic deterioration in the face of the resurgent pandemic, as well as the imminent expiration of several critical federal aid programs by the end of the year. Nearly 8 million Americans have fallen into poverty since this summer, according to a new report, in part because emergency benefit programs expired. More Americans are filing for unemployment benefits, and the pace of hiring has slowed.

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