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some jobless Americans could see their unemployment benefits lapse since it may take weeks for aid to reach them due to outdated state systems, experts say.
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The measure will be tied to a $1.4 trillion must-pass spending bill that will fund federal agencies and programs through Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year.
Congress passed a one-day extension of government funding late Sunday to give lawmakers one more day to review the deal to avert a partial government shutdown deadline.
For the bill to become law, both the House and Senate must pass the legislation, and President Donald Trump will need to sign it. Both chambers are expected to debate and vote on the package Monday.
Here’s what is in the stimulus package:
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.
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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…
Go to the news source: $600 stimulus checks and $300 jobless aid