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    Will an Overdraft Balance Impact Your Stimulus Check?

    AdvertisementContinue reading the main storySupported byContinue reading the main storyTheir Finances Ravaged, Customers Fear Banks Will Withhold Stimulus ChecksBanks have the power to decide whether to let overdrawn customers gain access to the stimulus money being deposited into their accounts, but they have taken different approaches.Morgan Banke was hoping her bank would waive her overdraft fees so she could tap her stimulus funds, but the bank’s officials said they would not.Credit…Narayan Mahon for The New York TimesDec. 31, 2020Updated 5:52 p.m. ETSince August, Morgan Banke has had just enough money in her bank account every month to pay either her rent or her car insurance. The unemployed mother of two has relied on her bank, the Dupaco Community Credit Union in Dubuque, Iowa, to cover the difference. But each time she makes that choice, the bank charges her $28 in overdraft fees. Her account is $780 in the red.When she heard that the federal government was working on a fresh stimulus package, Ms. Banke called Dupaco to ask whether it would waive the outstanding fees. If it did so, she hoped, she could tap the stimulus funds. Bank officials said no.Ms. Banke, who has been selling her possessions on Facebook to make ends meet, doesn’t know if she will get any of the money. “When we were told we were getting another stimulus, I was excited,” she said. Now, she is dejected.As 2020 comes to an end, the $600 promised by the federal government — poised to begin appearing in bank accounts this week — is welcome news to millions of needy Americans whose finances have been devastated after nine months of economic crisis wrought by the coronavirus pandemic.But for people whose bank accounts are overdrawn, whether they get their hands on the money depends on what the country’s banks — which, as in Ms. Banke’s case, also are the creditors on overdrawn accounts — decide to do. Banks hold this power because, for a vast majority of people, the stimulus money will be deposited in the same bank accounts in which they also receive tax refunds.In the past week, the largest United States banks have pledged to temporarily zero out their customers’ negative balances so they can get access to their stimulus money and put it toward whatever expense seems the most pressing. Negative balances typically include the various fees that banks tack on to customers’ accounts for letting the customers withdraw more money than they have.Representatives of Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo said the banks would be crediting customers’ accounts for roughly a month after the money arrived. After that, the banks will revert the accounts to their previous overdrawn status. It was a reprise of the relief they offered their customers when the first round of stimulus money was distributed in April.Large regional banks, including Fifth Third Bancorp, Truist (the institution formed by the combination of SunTrust and BB&T), PNC Financial Services and US Bank, are following suit.However, some regional and community banks — which often serve areas where there is little competition, including poor neighborhoods and rural communities — are pursuing different approaches. Some smaller banks say they are considering customers’ requests on a case-by-case basis.Citizens Bank, a regional bank catering to customers mostly in the Northeast, said it would temporarily zero out all customers’ accounts, but only if the customers called and specifically requested it. A Citizens spokesman said the bank would email customers a reminder that the option was available to them.Some banks, including Chase, have pledged to temporarily zero out their customers’ negative balances, so they can get access to their stimulus money.Credit…John Taggart for The New York TimesThe disparate approaches of smaller banks often put the onus on customers to figure out what options they have — when many are already stressed out by the enormous financial challenges they face. Consumer income fell in November; layoffs continue, particularly in hard-hit industries like restaurants; and the unemployment rate remains high.Dupaco, the credit union where Ms. Banke, 25, has had an account for six years, ever since she started working as a bartender in Dubuque, doesn’t have a blanket policy for customers. “We work with members on an individual basis to address whatever situation they might have,” Dave Klavitter, a Dupaco spokesman, said. He declined to address Ms. Banke’s case.Having waived Ms. Banke’s overdraft fees on three earlier occasions, bank officials were unwilling to grant her a waiver yet again when she called them recently to ask for one, Ms. Banke said. Although the bank hasn’t said she won’t get the $600 in stimulus funds, Ms. Banke, who lives in Madison, Wis., remains worried. She can’t work because her 5-month-old son has a respiratory illness. She plans to ask Dupaco if it can zero out her balance temporarily.Temporary forgiveness from banks might not be enough, especially for those in the worst financial straits. Since the coronavirus outbreak hit, one in four people in the United States has struggled to pay monthly bills, according to a study released in late September by the Pew Research Center. One in three has dipped into savings or retirement accounts. One in six has borrowed from family or friends to cover bills.Bank fees are adding extra pain to some Americans’ pandemic-induced woes. In 2019, according to the Center for Responsible Lending, big banks collected more than $11 billion in overdraft fees from their customers, with 9 percent of customers paying more than 80 percent of the fees. For the first nine months of 2020, customers of big banks paid $6 billion in overdraft fees, according to Rebecca Borné, a researcher at the nonprofit, which advocates better treatment of consumers by financial institutions.The total amount of penalty fees that bank customers paid in 2020 could end up being lower than last year, but because such a large amount of the penalties are paid by such a small subset of customers, the impact of those fees on their finances will most likely be far worse this year.Aside from the temporary truces some banks have made with their customers around the stimulus checks, banks have not modified their overdraft policies during the pandemic, Ms. Borné said. “Charging unreasonably high fees, multiple fees per day, extended fees and other practices that manipulate the charges to maximize the fees — those practices hurt those struggling the most,” she said.On Christmas Eve, Andrew Shorts, an artist living in Ogden, Utah, was scrambling to pay his electricity bill so that he would not lose power and heat. Mr. Shorts, who makes murals and graphic design projects for local businesses, has been locked out of his account at Zions Bank, a Salt Lake City-based lender, since a rapid fire of automatic deductions for household bills this fall pushed his balance $150 into negative territory.When he called Zions two days before Christmas, a representative told him that he would probably have to pay the bank what he owed it and settle for the remainder. The bank changed its policy after President Trump signed the stimulus bill on Tuesday. A spokesman said Zions would zero out all negative balances of up to $2,000 for 30 days to let customers get their stimulus money.Mr. Shorts described the $600 stimulus payment as “the equivalent of a pool noodle while my wife, child, myself and my now crippled business are drowning in the open sea.” But he still wants the money. In the meantime, he scraped together just enough to pay his electricity bill.On the day Congress passed the latest stimulus legislation last week, Misha Roberts, a 26-year-old student at Ohio State University, could not bring herself to sign into her PNC online account and look up the balance. She knew it was somewhere between $1,200 and $1,700 in the negative, thanks to a combination of bills for basic expenses she could not afford, which were automatically deducted from her account, and overdraft fees.Some banks have closed accounts that have overdrawn balances. A PNC spokeswoman said in cases where accounts had recently been closed, either the I.R.S. would mail the customer a check or PNC would let the customer use a different existing account to receive the money.Ms. Roberts, who wants to be a nurse, is working to pay for college and has already had to drop out several times after running out of money. For two years, she worked overnight shifts as a home health aide, earning $10.50 an hour. But when the pandemic hit, the company sending her out to care for elderly people started to lose clients.“Less hours to go around means less money to go around, and it made my work environment really tense at times,” Ms. Roberts said.She recently quit and now spends weekends cleaning the common spaces, including the gym, communal kitchens, stairwells and lobby, in the apartment building where she lives, making $15 per hour. In an email on Monday, she said of the $600 stimulus: “I really need it or I might be forced to leave school again.”Late on Tuesday, after learning PNC would temporarily zero out customers’ overdrafts, Ms. Roberts finally worked up the courage to look at her balance. But when she tried to sign in, she said, she was blocked. PNC had closed her account.AdvertisementContinue reading the main story More

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    Most Americans Are Expected to Save, Not Spend, Their $600 Check

    #masthead-section-label, #masthead-bar-one { display: none }The Coronavirus OutbreakliveLatest UpdatesMaps and CasesThe Stimulus PlanVaccine InformationF.A.Q.TimelineAdvertisementContinue reading the main storySupported byContinue reading the main storyMost Americans Are Expected to Save, Not Spend, Their $600 CheckWhile lawmakers debate increasing the stimulus payments to $2,000, experts say it would make far more sense to give more money to the unemployed.Galen Gilbert, a 71-year old lawyer who lives in a Boston suburb, plans to deposit his stimulus check into savings. “I’m not really suffering financially,” he said.Credit…Katherine Taylor for The New York TimesNelson D. Schwartz and Dec. 30, 2020Updated 4:49 p.m. ETGalen Gilbert knows just what he will do with the check he gets from Washington as part of the pandemic relief package, whatever the amount: put it in the bank.“I’ve got more clients than I can handle right now and I’ve made more money than I usually do,” said Mr. Gilbert, a 71-year-old lawyer who lives in a Boston suburb. “So I’m not really suffering financially.”Cheryl K. Smith, an author and editor who lives in Low Pass, Ore., isn’t in a rush to spend the money, either. She plans to save a portion, too, while donating the rest to a local food bank. “I’m actually saving money right now,” Ms. Smith said.President Trump’s demand to increase the already-approved $600 individual payment to $2,000, with backing from congressional Democrats, has dominated events in Washington this week and redefined the debate for more stimulus during the pandemic. Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, said on Wednesday he would not allow a vote on a standalone bill increasing the checks to $2,000, dooming the effort, at least for now.Whatever the amount, the reality is that most Americans right now are much more likely to save the money they receive.Of course, the money will be a lifesaver for the roughly 20 million people collecting unemployment benefits and others who are working reduced hours or earning less than they used to. Yet, for the majority of the estimated 160 million individuals and families who will receive it, spending the money is expected not to be a high priority.After an earlier round of $1,200 stimulus checks went out in the spring, the saving rate skyrocketed and remains at a nearly 40-year high. That largely reflects the lopsided nature of the pandemic recession that has put some Americans in dire straits while leaving many others untouched.Economists on the right and left of the political spectrum said that when otherwise financially secure people receive an unexpected windfall, they almost invariably save it. The free-market economist Milton Friedman highlighted this phenomenon decades ago.Many experts said a truly stimulative package would have earmarked the payments for those who need it most — the unemployed.“We know where the pockets of need are,” said Greg Daco, chief economist at Oxford Economics. “Putting it there would be a much more efficient use of the stimulus.”And because the money will immediately be put to work — the jobless don’t have the luxury of saving it — it would also have a much bigger impact on the overall economy, through what experts refer to as the multiplier effect. In essence, each dollar given to a person in need is likely to benefit the economy more because it would be used to pay for, say, groceries or rent.“Providing $2,400 to a family of four in the same financial situation as they were at the end of 2019 doesn’t do much to boost the overall economy right now,” Mr. Daco said. “It’s not whether it’s a positive or not. It’s their potency that’s in question.”Individuals with an adjusted gross income in 2019 of up to $75,000 will receive the $600 payment, and couples earning up to $150,000 a year will get twice that amount. There is also a $600 payment for each child in families that meet those income requirements. People making more than those limits will receive partial payments up to certain income thresholds.A more effective approach, experts say, would have raised unemployment insurance benefits to the jobless by $600 a week, matching the supplement under the stimulus package Congress passed last spring, rather than the $300 weekly subsidy the new legislation provides. Democrats had pushed for larger payments to the jobless and included it in legislation that passed the House, which they control. But the measure met stiff resistance from Republicans, who control the Senate, and was not included in the final compromise bill.The Coronavirus Outbreak More

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    A Look at What’s in the Stimulus Package Trump Signed

    #masthead-section-label, #masthead-bar-one { display: none }The Coronavirus OutbreakliveLatest UpdatesMaps and CasesThe Stimulus PlanVaccine InformationF.A.Q.TimelineAdvertisementContinue reading the main storySupported byContinue reading the main storyA Look at What’s in the Stimulus Package Trump SignedThe $900 billion package provides more relief beyond the $600 checks that have become the focus in Washington.President Trump finally signed a $900 billion stimulus bill that includes much more than just direct payments to households.Credit…Al Drago for The New York TimesDec. 28, 2020Updated 6:31 p.m. ETWASHINGTON — The $900 billion stimulus bill that President Trump finally signed into law on Sunday evening goes well beyond providing the $600 checks that became a huge sticking point in getting the legislation across the finish line.The relief package casts a wide net with a variety of measures aimed at addressing the needs of millions of Americans, including those who have lost their jobs, as well as small businesses, nursing homes, colleges, universities and K-12 schools.The package extends some provisions of the original stimulus package that was passed in the spring, while adding new measures to help working families who have continued to suffer amid the pandemic.The full text of the bill ran almost 5,600 pages. Here’s a look at what’s included.Individual paymentsAmong the most anticipated components of the legislation is the direct payment, with $600 going to individual adults with an adjusted gross income of up to $75,000 a year based on 2019 earnings. Heads of households who earn up to $112,500 and a couple (or someone whose spouse died in 2020) who make up to $150,000 a year would get twice that amount.Eligible families with dependent children would receive an additional $600 per child.In a change from the last round, payments will not be denied to citizens married to someone without a social security number, allowing some spouses of undocumented immigrants to claim the benefit this time around.On Tuesday night, President Trump threatened to veto the bill because he said the payments were too low. He is advocating payments of $2,000. House Democrats planned to bring up an amendment to the bill on Thursday, an aide who was familiar with the proposal said. It is not clear how the House and Senate will act.Unemployment benefitsWith millions of Americans still unemployed, Congress acted to extend multiple programs to help those out of work, albeit at less generous levels than in the spring.The agreement would revive enhanced federal jobless benefits for 11 weeks, providing a lifeline for hard-hit workers until March 14. The new benefit, up to $300 per week, is half the amount provided by the original stimulus bill in the spring.The legislation also extends Pandemic Unemployment Assistance — a program aimed at a broad set of freelancers and independent contractors — for the same period, providing an additional $100 per week.Education resourcesSchool budgets have been severely crippled by the pandemic and left some of the most vulnerable students in dire academic and financial straits. The bill provides $82 billion for education, including about $54 billion for K-12 schools and $23 billion for colleges and universities.The Coronavirus Outbreak More

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    Biden, Calling Covid Relief Bill a ‘Down Payment,’ Urges More Relief

    #masthead-section-label, #masthead-bar-one { display: none }The Coronavirus OutbreakliveLatest UpdatesMaps and CasesThe Stimulus DealThe Latest Vaccine InformationF.A.Q.AdvertisementContinue reading the main storySupported byContinue reading the main storyBiden, Calling Stimulus Bill a ‘Down Payment,’ Urges More ReliefThe president-elect said he would ask Congress soon after his inauguration to pass an additional coronavirus aid package with more money for firefighters, police officers and nurses.President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. said Tuesday in Wilmington, Del., that he had “been proven right” about the possibility of bipartisan compromise in Congress.Credit…Amr Alfiky/The New York TimesThomas Kaplan, Annie Karni and Dec. 22, 2020WILMINGTON, Del. — A day after Congress approved a hard-fought $900 billion stimulus package, President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. called the measure a “down payment” on Tuesday and vowed to enter office next month asking lawmakers to return to the negotiating table.“Congress did its job this week,” he said, “and I can and I must ask them to do it again next year.”In a year-end news conference in Wilmington, Del., Mr. Biden remained vague about the specifics of his plan. But he appeared to be laying the groundwork for how he will handle the country’s economic recovery, signaling that another major economic relief package would be a priority.Mr. Biden said he planned to ask Congress to pass another bill that would include more funding to help firefighters, police officers and nurses. He said that his bill would include a new round of stimulus checks to Americans, but that the amount of money they contained would be a matter of negotiation.His focus, he said, was to have the money necessary to distribute vaccines to 300 million people, to support Americans who have lost jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic and to help businesses stay open.“People are desperately hurting,” he said.President Trump also responded to the bill on Tuesday, hours after Mr. Biden’s news conference. In a video he posted on Twitter, Mr. Trump read from a prepared statement and complained about the legislation his advisers had said he would sign. “I’m asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000, or $4,000 for a couple,” he said, calling the bill “a disgrace.”“It’s called the Covid relief bill, but it has almost nothing to do with Covid,” he said, noting that it included funding for the Egyptian military; money for countries like Honduras and Nicaragua; and support for the Kennedy Center in Washington.If Mr. Trump chooses not to immediately sign the bill, the government will still be funded through Monday, and Republicans have enough votes that they could override a potential veto. But the checks that his Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, said would go out next week could be delayed.This month, when Senators Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent, and Josh Hawley, Republican of Missouri, tried to unanimously force legislation that would provide larger direct payments of $1,200, a staunch Trump ally, Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, blocked the endeavor.The $900 billion package Congress approved on Monday would provide billions of dollars for the distribution of vaccines and support for small businesses, schools and cultural institutions.It would also allocate a round of $600 direct payments to millions of American adults and children, as well as support a series of expanded and extended unemployment benefits for 11 weeks. Those programs will taper off, potentially prompting some form of congressional action before then.“I think everybody understands that Vice President Biden is going to ask for another bill, so we will have another chance to revisit it probably pretty soon,” Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, told reporters on Monday.Mr. Biden did not negotiate with lawmakers on the stimulus directly, but his incoming chief of staff, Ron Klain, and other officials tapped to be part of the administration were kept abreast of the hour-by-hour developments in the talks, according to Democratic officials familiar with the situation.The Coronavirus Outbreak More

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    Buried in Covid Relief Bill: Billions to Soothe the Richest

    #masthead-section-label, #masthead-bar-one { display: none }The Coronavirus OutbreakliveLatest UpdatesMaps and CasesThe Stimulus DealThe Latest Vaccine InformationF.A.Q.AdvertisementContinue reading the main storySupported byContinue reading the main storyBuried in Pandemic Aid Bill: Billions to Soothe the RichestThe voluminous coronavirus relief and spending bill that blasted through Congress on Monday includes provisions — good, bad and just plain strange — that few lawmakers got to read.Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, at the Capitol last week. He said leadership intentionally waited until the last minute to unveil final proposals to the spending bill.Credit…Anna Moneymaker for The New York TimesLuke Broadwater, Jesse Drucker and Dec. 22, 2020WASHINGTON — Tucked away in the 5,593-page spending bill that Congress rushed through on Monday night is a provision that some tax experts call a $200 billion giveaway to the rich.It involves the tens of thousands of businesses that received loans from the federal government this spring with the promise that the loans would be forgiven, tax free, if they agreed to keep employees on the payroll through the coronavirus pandemic.But for some businesses and their high-paid accountants, that was not enough. They went to Congress with another request: Not only should the forgiven loans not to be taxed as income, but the expenditures used with those loans should be tax deductible.“High-income business owners have had tax benefits and unprecedented government grants showered down upon then. And the scale is massive,” said Adam Looney, a fellow at the Brookings Institution and a former Treasury Department tax official in the Obama administration, who estimated that $120 billion of the $200 billion would flow to the top 1 percent of Americans.The new provision allows for a classic double dip into the Payroll Protection Program, as businesses get free money from the government, then get to deduct that largess from their taxes.And it is one of hundreds included in a huge spending package and a coronavirus stimulus bill that is supposed to help businesses and families struggling during the pandemic but, critics say, swerved far afield. President Trump on Tuesday night blasted it as a disgrace and demanded revisions.“Congress found plenty of money for foreign countries, lobbyists and special interests, while sending the bare minimum to the American people who need it,” he said in a video posted on Twitter that stopped just short of a veto threat.The measure includes serious policy changes beyond the much-needed $900 billion in coronavirus relief, like a simplification of federal financial aid forms, measures to address climate change and a provision to stop “surprise billing” from hospitals when patients unwittingly receive care from physicians out of their insurance networks.But there is also much grumbling over other provisions that lawmakers had not fully reviewed, and a process that left most of them and the public in the dark until after the bill was passed. The anger was bipartisan.“Members of Congress have not read this bill. It’s over 5000 pages, arrived at 2pm today, and we are told to expect a vote on it in 2 hours,” Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat of New York, tweeted on Monday. “This isn’t governance. It’s hostage-taking.”Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, agreed — the two do not agree on much.“It’s ABSURD to have a $2.5 trillion spending bill negotiated in secret and then—hours later—demand an up-or-down vote on a bill nobody has had time to read,” he tweeted on Monday.The items jammed into the bill are varied and at times bewildering. The bill would make it a felony to offer illegal streaming services. One provision requires the C.I.A. to report back to Congress on the activities of Eastern European oligarchs tied to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. The federal government would be required to set up a program aimed at eradicating the murder hornet and to crack down on online sales of e-cigarettes to minors.It authorizes 93 acres of federal lands to be used for the construction of the Teddy Roosevelt Presidential Library in North Dakota and creates an independent commission to oversee horse racing, a priority of Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader.Mr. McConnell inserted that item to get around the objections of a Democratic senator who wanted it amended, but he received agreement from other congressional leaders.Alexander M. Waldrop, the chief executive of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, said on Tuesday that Mr. McConnell had “said many times he feared for the future of horse racing and the impact on the industry, which of course is critical to Kentucky.”The Coronavirus Outbreak More

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    Coronavirus Stimulus Bolsters Biden, Shows Potential Path for Agenda

    #masthead-section-label, #masthead-bar-one { display: none }The Coronavirus OutbreakliveLatest UpdatesMaps and CasesThe Stimulus DealThe Latest Vaccine InformationF.A.Q.AdvertisementContinue reading the main storySupported byContinue reading the main storyNEWS AnalysisPandemic Aid Bolsters Biden and Shows Potential Path for His Agenda in CongressWorking together with the president-elect, bipartisan groups in the Senate and House helped push feuding leaders to compromise. It could be a template for the future.Rather than face an immediate and dire need to act on a pandemic package, President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his team can take time to try to fashion a more far-reaching recovery program next month.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York TimesDec. 21, 2020Updated 7:10 p.m. ETProducing it was a torturous, time-consuming affair that did nothing to improve Congress’s reputation for dysfunction. But the agreement on a new pandemic aid package showed the ascendance of moderates as a new force in a divided Senate and validated President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s belief that it is still possible to make deals on Capitol Hill.Along with struggling Americans and businesses, the new president was a major beneficiary of the $900 billion pandemic stimulus measure that Congress haltingly but finally produced on Sunday and was on track to approve late Monday, which will give him some breathing room when he enters the White House next month. Rather than face an immediate and dire need to act on an emergency economic aid package, Mr. Biden and his team can instead take a moment to try to fashion a more far-reaching recovery program and begin to tackle other issues.“President-elect Biden is going to have an economy that is healthier,” said Senator Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia and one of the chief players in a breakaway effort by centrists in the Senate and House that led to the compromise. “This is a significant financial injection into the economy at a time that is critical.”The group of moderates was essential to the outcome, pushing Senate and House leaders of both parties into direct personal negotiations that they had avoided for months, and demonstrating how crucial they are likely to be to Mr. Biden. “I’m glad we forced the issue,” said Senator Susan Collins, the Maine Republican who, along with Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, were leaders of a monthslong effort to break the impasse over pandemic aid even as the virus exacted a growing economic and health toll on the country.Given the slender partisan divides that will exist in both the Senate and House next year, the approach could provide a road map for the Biden administration if it hopes to break through congressional paralysis, especially in the Senate, and pass additional legislation. Mr. Biden has said another economic relief plan will be an early priority.“I believe it is going to be the only way we are going to accomplish the president-elect’s agenda in the next two years,” said Representative Josh Gottheimer, Democrat of New Jersey and a leader of the 50-member bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus that took part in forging the compromise. “In the long run, this is the way to govern.”But the extraordinarily difficult time Congress had in coming to agreement over pandemic legislation again showed the difficulty of the task Mr. Biden faces. Almost every influential member of the House and Senate acknowledged that the relief was sorely needed, but it was impeded in part by last-minute Republican attempts to undercut Mr. Biden’s future authority. Some Republicans are already suggesting that the latest package should tide over the nation for an extended period, with no additional relief necessary for some time.Senators Mark Warner of Virginia, left, Susan Collins of Maine and Joe Manchin III of West Virginia were part of a moderate bipartisan group that helped negotiate the legislation.Credit…Anna Moneymaker for The New York TimesMr. Biden on Sunday applauded the willingness of lawmakers to “reach across the aisle” and called the effort a “model for the challenging work ahead for our nation.” He was also not an idle bystander in the negotiations.With Republican and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate far apart on how much they were willing to accept in new pandemic spending, Mr. Biden on Dec. 2 threw his support behind the $900 billion plan being pushed by the centrist group. The total was less than half of the $2 trillion that Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York, had been insisting on.The Coronavirus Outbreak More