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Upcoming COVID-19 Relief Bill To Send $54 Billion To New York, Including Lifeline For Cash-Strapped MTA

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Hundreds of dollars could be coming to the bank accounts of millions of Americans as early as next week.

It's all because Congress struck a deal on a new COVID-19 stimulus package.

CBS2's Aundrea Cline-Thomas takes a look at what it means for you.

"I was excited and disappointed at the same time," Harlem resident Lisa Davis said Monday.

MOREStimulus Package Update: Deal Reached On COVID Economic Relief

Davis is among the millions of Americans making less than $75,000 a year that are now eligible for a stimulus check.

The payments are $600 for every adult and dependent, which means a family of four will get $2,400.

"This is supposed to be the greatest country in the world and we're suffering, and $600 is not going to buy it," Davis said.

"How can $600 pay your light bill, your cable bill, buy your food and pay your back rent?" Harlem resident Sharon John added.


Johnny White, a chef and father from Brownsville, Brooklyn, told CBS2's Ali Bauman he, too, is not all that impressed with the $600.

"It's really not enough to pay for groceries, child care," White said.

Added Hannah Davis of Hamilton Heights, "Getting $600 is like putting a Band-Aid basically on the situation."

"Do you know how much it is to live in New York? C'mon. So, no, that $600 is nothing," said Davian Shepard of Hamilton Heights.

An extra $300 a week in unemployment benefits is also part of the congressional deal, which is expected to pass Monday evening.

In all, $54 billion is coming to New York for COVID-19 and vaccination efforts, live venues including Broadway, rent relief, and small business loans and grants.

"We have to get more, but as a temporary measure it's important," Sen. Chuck Schumer said.

Especially for the cash-strapped Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which is getting a $4 billion lifeline.

"We will not have to cut service or lay off our colleagues in 2021," MTA Chairman Pat Foye said.

MOREMTA Outlines Layoffs, Massive Service Cuts That Could Happen Without Significant Funding From Federal Government

The same can't be said for states and local governments.

"Do you know what we got in this bill? Zero, nada, niente," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. "We have a $15 billion deficit caused by COVID."

That's because direct aid to cover deficits caused by the pandemic was left out.

"That means cities lay off police officers, and they lay off firemen, firefighters, and they lay off teachers," Cuomo said.

Also left out, a $120 billion fund to help restaurants. The NYC Hospitality Alliance, which represents 2,500 eateries in the city, said of the bill, "It is better than nothing, yet still a disgrace."

Local lawmakers are now banking on Joe Biden's presidency for a bailout.

"We're going to see that play out in February and the months right after. That will give us time to make our final decisions on our budget that is due in June," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "[The stimulus] is months late. It's billions short. It has no direct aid to localities. There's so much missing, you can't call it a stimulus."

While many say the bill falls short, it is a compromise after a months-long stalemate in Washington.

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