U.S. Congress agrees to expand payroll assistance to local news outlets

FILE PHOTO: A newspaper vending machine is pictured in Basile amid a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak across the state of Louisiana, U.S., March 26, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Congressional leaders said on Sunday that lawmakers agreed to expand payroll assistance to additional struggling local news outlets as part of a $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill.

House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said the measure would expand eligibility “for nonprofits and local newspapers, TV and radio broadcasters.”

Thousands of local newspapers, TV and radio stations had been ineligible for the initial payroll protection program approved by Congress in March because they were owned by larger parent companies.

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