The Wider World

Stimulus bill getting closer …

A $900 BILLION aid package to shore up the economy is reportedly close to a deal (Shutterstock photo).

A deal is reportedly near on a COVID-19 economic relief package from Congress. According to the Associated Press, the proposed bill would aid businesses, add $300 a week to unemployment benefits and $600 stimulus payments to “most Americans.”

Democrats and Republicans are wrangling over details of the legislation, which would succeed the CARES Act in March, which spent $1.8 trillion in aid and benefits and helped cushion the impact of the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re close and we’re going to get there, “ said Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), the Senate majority leader.  He and other Republicans are hoping to have a deal finished before the Georgia runoff elections for two Senate seats that could determine which party will control the upper house of Congress.

Such a bill would cost about $900 billion. Of that amount, $300 billion would get to businesses, $25 million for renters and $10 billion to “bail out” the U.S. Postal Service.

The News: Nor’easter winter storm hits

  • An emergency was declared in Boston, New Jersey and Pennsylvania as the large “nor’easter” winter storm starts dumping heavy snow all along the East Coast from Toronto to Washington, D.C., according to United Press International. The storm is also sending rain as far south as Florida.
  • Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen will get vaccinated for COVID-19 on Friday and President-elect Joe Biden will probably get his shots next week, according to USA Today.
  • As stimulus talks drag on still without agreement, Wall Street registered its impatience on Wednesday. The Dow Jones Average was down 44.77 points, while the S&P 500 rose only by 6.55 points. Only Nasdaq perked up, rising by 63.33.

The Weather: A warming trend is on its way

If things have been a bit chilly for you the past few days, you have warmer times to look forward to. According to the National Weather Service, Thursday will be cloudy with a daytime high of 65 (overnight 46), but will warm up to a sunny 71 for Friday and Saturday, rising to 75 by Sunday. In the coastal area, daytime highs will rise from 62 on Thursday to 67 on Sunday.

The Sports: Negro Leagues get Major Promotion

Major League Baseball announced on Wednesday that the Negro League, that flourished before the “color line” was breached by Jackie Robinson, would retroactively be considered “major league” and the statistics of the athletes who performed for those teams from 1920 to 1948 will be included in the record books of MLB.

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