Congress should act fast or risk millions not receiving economic aid in December


  • With the extended financial packages about to deplete, millions of beneficiaries face an end to economic aid if Congress fails to act soon.
  • According to an analysis, more than 12 million workers may no longer receive the additional Unemployment Assistance benefits.
  • President-elect Joe Biden suggested that Congress passes an expanded $3 trillion package aid, citing a similar bill by the Democrats in October.

Close to 12 million workers will not receive an additional job loss package on Dec. 26 if legislators don’t reach another authorization deal.

At the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in March, Congress pushed legislation programs and increased aids at a record of $600 weekly.

However, the representatives expected the pandemic to be manageable in just a few months, and the extra budget run out in July.

Currently, all boosted unemployment packages are about to expire, along with student debt loan extension, eviction moratorium, and tax benefit.

The Century Foundation’s tracker estimates that over 7 million employees face losing the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits House designed for non-traditional workers such as Uber drivers and irregulars whose employment does not typically meet the program’s requirements.

About 4.6 million more staff will lose Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation designed for the long-standing unemployed who had already spent 26 weeks worth state-provided regular benefits. Although 18 states have stretched its aid programs for almost 3 million of these workers, federal fundings will end on Dec. 26, and state financials are set to drain.

 Andrew Stettner and Elizabeth Pancotti of The Century Foundation wrote in their report that the country’s economy would suffer, and with the budget for economic aids about to be depleted, this could result in food insecurity and many families losing their homes. 

For several months, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democratic – California, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin attempted to push for an additional and extensive coronavirus relief package. The talks ended before the Nov. 3 elections.

Joe Biden, the president-elect, said on Monday that Congress should file an all-inclusive $3 trillion bill similar to what the Democrats passed in October. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., however, described that bill was a failure.

Congress has a custom of holding waiting until the last moment before Christmas to give another authorization to unemployment aid extension.

Due to the relentless series of job layoffs this year, including the prolonged eligibility criteria, many workers would be uncertain if Congress releases aids by December. Several of the 7 million getting by-assignment worker benefits could potentially resume work immediately since they were not technically fired from a regular job.

Legislators could solve the expiring Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act provision, named the CARES packaged passed in March, along with other possible relief measures in a bill that Congress needs to pass by Dec. 11 to prevent the federal government’s semi-shutdown.

While the idea of binding COVID-19 stimulus to annual appropriations passage has the backing of all officials and employees of both sides, it will still need the nod of top congressional leaders that have demonstrated elusiveness at this point.

Source: AOL

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