COVID STIMULUS BILL PASSED
It turns out after it looks like Trump lost the election, or more accurately, had it taken from him, now the Democrats and Pelosi were willing to sit down and pass a bill (this shows where their priorities are, it was not with the American people).
Lawmakers struck a nearly $900 billion COVID-19 stimulus deal Sunday that includes another round of stimulus checks and badly needed jobless benefits for struggling Americans, ending a long standoff in Washington with one of the biggest rescue bills in U.S. history.
After months of impasse, negotiations came down to the wire as 12 million people are set to lose unemployment benefits the day after Christmas. The deal includes restarting a $300 boost to the federal unemployment insurance benefit, extending eviction moratoriums for renters for an unspecified amount of time and a $600 direct payment to most Americans.
Even though lawmakers reached a deal, some jobless Americans could see their unemployment benefits lapse since it may take weeks for aid to reach them due to outdated state systems, experts say.
Will I get another stimulus check?
The measure contains an up to $600 direct payment to most Americans, and $600 per child, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement. That is less than the $1,200 checks approved in the spring.
The size of the benefit would be reduced for those earning more than $75,000 in 2019, similar to the last round of stimulus checks, according to The Washington Post.
Are unemployment benefits extended?
The bill would extend all pandemic unemployment programs set to expire at the end of December. It’s unclear for how long.
Those benefits would likely be extended for 11 weeks of unemployment, according to The Washington Post. They aren’t retroactive.
The deal came down to the wire as two unemployment programs are set to end on Dec. 26: the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which provides aid to self-employed, temporary workers and gig workers; and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which provides an additional 13 weeks of benefits beyond the typical 26 weeks that states provide to jobless workers.
Are there enhanced unemployment benefits?
The measure would provide a federal unemployment benefit of $300 a week for roughly 10 weeks, less than the $600 provided under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act passed in March.
The bill also would give an additional federal benefit of $100 weekly to those who earned at least $5,000 a year in self-employment income, but are disqualified from receiving a more generous Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefit because they are eligible for state jobless aid, according to The New York Times.
Eviction Moratoriums Extended
Yes. It would offer $25 billion in emergency rental assistance and provide an extension of eviction moratoriums. It’s unclear for how long based on Pelosi and Schumer’s statement.
The latest legislation extended the moratorium through Jan. 31, The New York Times said.
The loss in jobless aid and other stimulus relief would have put 30 to 40 million people at risk of eviction as moratoriums were set to expire in January, according to the Aspen Institute, a think tank.
Business Protection Funds
The package includes an extension of the small business Paycheck Protection Program, which expanded eligibility to local newspapers, broadcasters and nonprofits. It will direct another $20 billion to small business grants and $15 billion to live event venues.
The measure increased funding for vaccine distribution and coronavirus testing.
It also provided $13 billion in increased benefits for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.
COVID VACCINE DISTRIBITUTION
McConnell said the spending bill would “provide huge sums for the logistics” of distributing vaccines for the coronavirus.”
“Speaking of vaccines, we can’t nullify the success of Operation Warp Speed by falling asleep at the switch on distribution,” McConnel stated. “So this agreement will provide huge sums for the logistics that will get these life-saving shots to our citizens as fast as possible.”
Along with this bill, a bill is currently being worked out that will fund the Government through Sept 2021. This is dependent on that bill passing as well. Time will tell if the two sides can come together on this, but it looks like they are well on their way since they need the spending bill to fund the COVID bill.
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