Pandemic Benefits & The Future of Unemployment

Pandemic Benefits & The Future of Unemployment

( – Thanks in large part to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) desire to gain “leverage” over President Donald Trump, the American people now are caught in limbo in terms of employment and cash flow. As members of Congress eye their annual winter break, they need to make an eleventh-hour deal before 2021 because many might not have the luxury of waiting.

The $908-Billion Deal

Perhaps fearing the wrath of their constituents at home, a bi-partisan plan has been put forth that they and much of the mainstream media tout as a solution for the problems facing the people of the country. However, it leaves out a second round of $1200 stimulus checks.

There’s also a timing issue because of the looming holiday and because both houses must get a spending bill to the president for his signature to avoid a shutdown of the government by December 11. The people pushing this notion admitted they have yet to finalize the text of the bill. This offers no assurance the measure would be brought to the floor of either chamber nor is there a signal from the White House that it would be signed. As such, it seems unlikely this will come to fruition.

Bah Humbug!

As noted above, the power brokers in Washington, DC, are looking forward to a holiday break. But they don’t seem quite as concerned about the position or the hopes of the citizens they purport to represent as the year comes to an end.

Several provisions that directly impact American families of the CARES Act — the last of the COVID-19 relief plans — are set to expire at the end of December, including:

  1. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program was set up for people who don’t normally qualify for the assistance. Beginning January 1, 2021, it will be up to each state.
  1. As of now, there’s a moratorium preventing landlords from evicting tenants for nonpayment of rent for properties that are mortgaged under a federally-backed program or where the renter receives assistance from the federal government. An estimated 19 million people could become effectively homeless after this expires on December 31.
  1. The original act provided for a stipend of $600 over and above one’s normal unemployment benefit through July 31. President Trump signed an executive order providing a 6-week extension to that at a reduced $300 per week. Even that coverage will expire on December 27.

To avoid an increase in the burdens carried by the American citizens, the people on Capitol Hill must do something outside their collective wheelhouse — they must act quickly. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has prepared a $500-billion proposal that already has President Trump’s endorsement and could offer them an out.

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