PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Congressional leaders sealed the deal on a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package and soon a stimulus check will drop in the bank accounts of millions of Americans.

Local consumers feel let down, after learning this round of stimulus checks will be slashed in half. The last distribution included $1,200 checks per person. That number plummeting to $600.

Some Peorians said more financial assistance is better than nothing, but $600 checks are not enough to carry families pushed down by job loss since the pandemic shuttered the economy.

“People need this money desperately, now I mean they about to lose their houses and some people can’t feed themselves,” Darryl Wells of Peoria said.

Kimberly McGhee of Peoria said more money was expected, especially after waiting nearly eight months.

“It’s been a very trying and traumatic year,” she said.

In a statement to WMBD, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos wrote, “While this package is a significant and necessary step, we have more work to do.”

McGhee worries the check will not sustain families who have taken continuous financial hits.

“This $600 is not going to carry people who have to debate whether their rent or mortgage, do they pay rent or utilities, do they get food?” McGhee said.

Now, local consumers are awaiting President-Elect Joe Biden’s transition to power, hoping for further healing from the financial trauma. Some people are looking ahead to vaccine distribution, hoping it is followed by employment hikes.

On CNBC Monday, the treasury secretary said stimulus checks could start reaching people’s bank accounts as early as next week.

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos said the relief package will also support vaccine distribution, funding for small businesses and child care support.

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