Congress Approves Second Round of Coronavirus Stimulus, Including Aid for Cinemas

Congress has reached an agreement on a second stimulus package structured to mitigate the financial fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic. The $900 billion Coronavirus Economic Relief Agreement was approved by the White House, Senate, and House of Representatives on Sunday evening, hours before the deadline.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer issued a joint press release detailing the bill’s intended funding, which includes $15 billion for live event and cultural venues, including independent movie theaters.

The funding will provide an economic lifeline for struggling cinemas during a critical period, as states issue stricter operating restrictions amidst a surge in cases. The domestic box office has been decimated during the pandemic, breaking a five-year streak of $11 billion in annual earnings to little over $2 billion in 2020.

The Coronavirus Economic Relief is expected to be voted on on Monday, December 21.