After months of claiming they couldn’t agree on the next coronavirus relief package, while millions of Americans struggled to make ends meet, Congress is now pushing for stimulus in a vote to avoid a Gov’t shutdown. But it would include just a single $600 stimulus check—which is not enough for most Americans to even make a dent in the debt they’ve accumulated surviving this year…
Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress are all saying they are closer than ever to passing the next coronavirus relief deal, and this one comes with a price tag of $900 Billion. That proposal is expected to include a $600 stimulus check, $300 per week in federal unemployment insurance, $300 billion for small business loans, an extension of the federal moratorium on evictions, and funding for COVID-19 testing and vaccine distribution. The proposal is expected NOT to include state and local funding, liability protection for businesses, or support for restaurants.
Notably, there’s still a lot we DON’T know about what’s actually in this bill, and there has been a lot of criticism of the decision to cut stimulus checks down to just $600, with members of Congress noting that for many of Americans, that amount won’t go far at all when they are already struggling to get by.
Congress knows that they are finally running out of time here… They are facing government shutdown on Saturday, which has made leaders say they plan to work through the weekend if they have to. But on top of that, the American people are always facing deadlines on protections passed earlier this year. For example, an estimated 12 million Americans stand to lose their federal unemployment benefits the day after Christmas. The current federal moratorium on evictions expires at the end of the year. And Jobless claims were up to 885,000 last week, which is the highest we’ve seen since September.
President-Elect Joe Biden is referring to this stimulus bill as a “down payment” and he’s promising that as soon as he takes office next month, there will be another relief bill. Now, given that we have seen months of conflict between members of Congress, it remains to be seen how quickly that will happen, and exactly what it will include.