SENATE CONVENES FOR RELIEF TALKS: The Senate is in session as legislators on Capitol Hill race towards a deal for a COVID-19 relief bill, and to avoid a government shutdown. Reports on the latest talks say that direct payments to struggling Americans could be cut to just $600; it has been about 8 months since the last round of $1,200 direct relief payments were distributed. Congress will also need to address the impending expiration of key COVID-19 relief, including expanded unemployment benefits which end the day after Christmas.
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