While Republicans and Democrats alike support sending another round of pay, Americans are unlikely to receive a second round of stimulus checks before the end of the year – and lawmakers have been unable to agree on a broader economic support package.
Congress will return to Washington this week and focus on adopting a broader spending bill by December 11 to avoid a partial shutdown of the government, although it is possible that some mitigation programs could be added to such a broader spending bill.
Anyway, these provisions could extend programs that expire on December 31 – including extended unemployment benefits, an eviction moratorium and a suspension of student loan payments.
Disagreements over new controls
Lawmakers have barely talked about the second round of stimulus inspections since the summer. The stimulus package proposal currently submitted by Republicans controlling the Senate did not include money for direct payments.
President-elect Joe Biden supports a $ 3 trillion Democrat-backed bill passed in May by the House, which provided for a second round of scrutiny. However, this package has little chance of passing through Congress unless Democrats gain control of the Senate by winning both Senate competitions in Georgia scheduled for January 5th.
More than 160 million Americans received an incentive payment earlier this year after Congress approved a $ 2 trillion aid package in March. They have helped prevent many families from escaping poverty as millions of people have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic.
But for many, that $ 1,200 check has already been spent. Now that coronavirus cases are accelerating, a group of more than 120 economists are urging lawmakers to approve another round of inspections, arguing that they are “one of the fastest, fairest and most effective ways to get families and the economy on track. “
Congress has already authorized the expiration of some aid programs, such as the Paycheck Protection Program for Small Businesses and the $ 600 federal incentive for weekly unemployment benefits.
But others will end this month. If Congress gives any incentive to the general expenditure bill, it can prioritize tightening those deadlines.
Extended unemployment benefits
Under the CARES Act, as part of a historic extension of unemployment benefits, lawmakers created three programs to help unemployed Americans. While the $ 600 salary increase lasted only four months, the other two last until the week ending December 26, which is the last weekend of the year.
One, the pandemic unemployment benefit program, allows self-employed people, self-employed people and concertmakers to be eligible for payments. It also opens the program to those who are unable to work due to the epidemic, including when they or their family members are sick or quarantined or close their children’s schools.
Another program, called Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, provides an additional 13 weeks of federally paid benefits to those who have run out of state payments, which typically last for 26 weeks.
Student loan payment break
In March, the U.S. government automatically suspended payments and waived interest on federal student loans. This meant that millions of borrowers could skip their monthly payments without having their balances higher.
Initially, the exemption – contained in the $ 2 trillion congressional stimulus package – expired at the end of September. But President Donald Trump later postponed the date to 31 December by implementing measure.
If neither Trump nor Congress acts to cancel the deadline, millions of student loan payments will be due a few weeks before Biden takes office on Jan. 20. Even if Biden reactively resumes the break, it could cause confusion for borrowers in addition to a mess for student loan processors who aren’t built to abruptly stop or start paying.
The Order of the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, which came into force in September, temporarily halted the eviction until the end of the year. It applies to tenants who meet certain income needs, have suffered a significant loss of income, and have made every effort to find rent support and pay their rents.
As the order does not cancel or freeze the rent, all rents of the tenant must become due by January 1 if the moratorium expires. Without rent exemption or extension of protection, many struggling tenants will once again face eviction.
The eviction moratorium imposed by Congress in March protected only tenants who receive federal assistance or live in federally subsidized properties. This protection expired during the summer.
Paid family leave
Earlier this year, lawmakers expanded paid family leave benefits for many workers who fall ill or care for others.
It was limited to employees of companies with less than 500 employees, but provided a maximum of two weeks of paid sick leave and an additional 10 weeks of paid extended family leave for parents who had to care for schools that had closed their schools.
However, payments are limited and small businesses can apply for exemptions from provisions that affect workers who drop out of school for their children.
These benefits also expire on 31 December.
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