Millions of struggling Americans will spend the holidays this year without knowing where their next paycheck is coming from. And now because of President Donald Trumps last minute resistance to the stimulus pack lawmakers agreed that they also do not know whether they can count on more unemployment benefits, another stimulus check and not being deported from their homes.
Just a few days ago, it looked like relief was on the way.
After months of messy negotiations and economic pain inflicted by the pandemic, lawmakers finally agreed on a $ 900 billion stimulus package that would extend unemployment benefits for 11 weeks, send many Americans direct payments of $ 600 and continue the national draft ban for another month.
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But President Donald Trump shocked Washington earlier this week when he called the package a “disgrace” and said that “the next administration will have to provide a Covid aid package” if Congress does not amend the bill significantly. Still, one of Trump’s biggest requests – that direct payments to Americans triple to $ 2,000 from the agreed $ 600 – was already shot down by House Republicans on Thursday.
Now the fate of the entire aid package is uncertain.
These are some of the most important relief measures that Americans would lose if the stimulus bill is not passed.
The legislators who agreed on a $ 900 billion stimulus package included $ 120 billion in additional unemployment benefits.
Unemployed Americans would have their benefits extended for 11 weeks and receive a federal boost of $ 300 per week. Some freelancers and gig workers would get $ 100 extra a week.
More than 20 million people in the United States are currently receiving unemployment benefits, according to to the Labor Department.
If the stimulus package does not come to fruition, at least 10 million of these unemployed will see their benefits cut off in just a few days.
If the stimulus package is not complied with, Americans would also not see the $ 600 direct payments that lawmakers included in the bill. (Control goes to adults and children.)
Individuals with up to $ 75,000 in adjusted gross income would receive the full payment, as would married couples earning up to $ 150,000. Payments are phased out gradually for those with incomes above these levels.
Minister of Finance Steven Mnuchin told CNBC on Monday that Americans could get their stimulus control as soon as next week. The timeline looks increasingly unlikely.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s national draft ban is expected to expire at the end of the month.
The Coronavirus Aid Agreement extended the moratorium through January, setting up a $ 25 billion rent-assistance fund that people could use for arrears and current rents.
More than 14 million Americans – or 1 in 5 adult tenants – say they are behind on their housing payments, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.
If the ban is not extended, millions of Americans could be forced out of their homes and apartments during one of the coldest months of the year and during a pandemic. Recent research have also found that exposures lead to significantly more cases of coronavirus and death in an area.