[Update] President Trump recently announced that he’s calling off stimulus negotiations with Democrats “until after the election.” He has instructed Republican Senators to only focus on getting their new Supreme Court judge.
This tough decision means the stimulus bill passed in the House won’t proceed and as such no additional unemployment or stimulus checks will likely be paid this year, given the contentious election and drawn out ballot count that will take place. Cynically many are saying this is due to political pressure from Senate republicans.
This is devastating news to millions of Americans who will need to only rely on existing enhanced unemployment benefits. It will also have ripple impacts across the economy with many retailers and small business’ relying on stimulus spending and additional PPP loans.
[Update] The Democrats $2.2 trillion stimulus bill passed in the House of Representatives along party lines, so no surprise it passed given the Democrat majority in the house. Now it goes to the Senate for a vote, and most Republican senators there may veto it. The White House and Trump Administration will also need to sign-off off on any new stimulus bill and are pushing for a compromise. So say a prayer that all the key players and parties reach an agreement sooner rather than later.
With a month to go before the federal election, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are working hard to reach a compromise on a new pre-election stimulus deal that will include additional funding for supplementary unemployment benefits and another stimulus check. Democrats are still pushing for a $600 p/week supplementary UI payment (similar to the F/PUC payment which expired in July), but will likely have to settle for a $300 to $400 payment in line with the recently rolled out Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) payment.
Whatever unemployment benefit amount that is eventually agreed to will likely provide coverage and funding through early 2021, before the start of a new Presidential and Congressional term. This payment will be welcome relief to millions of jobless or under-employed Americans through the holiday season and against the possible resurgence of a second wave of Coronavirus infections.
In addition to funding extra unemployment benefits, there is also bipartisan consensus on sending another $1,200 direct payment (stimulus check) before the end of the year. There would also be help for struggling small business through additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and for airline industry employee furlough prevention. Support for states, local governments, schools, home owners and renters will also likely be part of any new stimulus package.
Another major hurdle to overcome, even if Democrats and the White House reach an agreement, is getting Senate approval where majority leader Mitch McConnell has already said getting enough Republican votes for any significant stimulus funding bill will be very difficult ahead of the election.