Update on Second Stimulus Check
On Monday, December 21, Congress passed a massive government spending and COVID-19 relief bill that would give eligible Americans a $ 600-second stimulus check. President Trump said that the second stimulus check amount approved by Congress should be $2,000, not $600. Trump hesitated the cross-party second stimulus check of $600 saying it is too small for his people and it comes in only at half the upper limit of March’s $1200 stimulus check. Trump wanted Congress to amend the bill it already passed hoping he would approve. However, the President wanted Congress to raise the total possible second stimulus check to $2,000 per eligible adult.
Now, whether the size of the second stimulus check is raised to $2,000 or remains at $600 per head, the benefits of job seekers are expected to remain fixed, including the $300 weekly bonus payment which is a part of PUA for gig workers and such. The stimulus package benefits, according to the plan in the bill, was meant to start by December 26, the day before Trump approved the legislation. Speaking of which, the delay in signing the bill meant that it will take a few days for the government agencies and the states to organize, reducing the bonus benefit window from 11 weeks to 10 weeks at a loss of $300 per job seeker.
Did Trump take a Final decision?
On Saturday night, things were a bit too gloomy because the weekly unemployment insurance check from the government to enlarge any benefit from individual states, lapsed that day, without any replacements whatsoever. But around 24 hours later President Donald Trump signed a $900 Billion pandemic relief package on Sunday evening ending days of drama over his refusal to accept the cross-party deal that will deliver long-sought cash to businesses and individuals and a federal government shutdown. This massive bill includes $1.4 trillion to fund government agencies through September and contains priorities such as money for cash-starved transit systems and increase in food stamp benefits.
The signing took place at his private club in Florida and it came after a full day of vocal criticism from Republicans and Democrats equally over his hesitations to the cross-party agreement who believed that they had Trump’s support. His dragging act in this case resulted in a lapse in unemployment benefits for millions who are struggling to make both ends meet and this even threatened a total shutdown of the government amidst the pandemic. Now this signing of the bill into law prevented another crisis of Trump’s own creation and ends, a dead end, with his own party during the final days of his administration.
Benefits on second stimulus
However, one new relief in the bill is the Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation, which provides an additional $100 a week for those unemployed workers who had earned money from a standard job and self-employment. Those receiving PUA would also receive the $300 bonus. Under the CARES Act, PUA funding will be available until December 31, but for many, the last payment will remain as December 26. the first date of the bill to go into effect was December 26 which has passed now. The checks are authorized to last until March 14, 2021. This means the person who finds himself unemployed in early 2021 would receive an additional three weeks of help.
Trump said in a statement, “I will sign the Omnibus and Covid package with a strong message that makes it clear to the congress that wasteful items need to be removed.” Republicans and Democrats rapidly welcomed Trump’s decision to sign the bill into law. Lawmakers now have some breathing room to continue departing whether the relief checks would be as large as the [resident has now demanded. The issue now will be voted for by the House majority, on Monday. For now, the administration can only begin sending out the $600 payments. While the House speaker and Senate Majority leader thanked the President for signing this relief into law others slammed his delay in the same.
People in high posts tweeted about this accusing Trump of having “played Russian roulette with American lives which is a familiar and comfortable place for him”. During this time of spreading pandemic and an emerging shutdown with a growing economic hardship, the lawmakers on Sunday had urged Trump to sign the legislation immediately, and then have Congress follow up with any additional aid. Apart from the unemployment benefits and relief payments for families, money for vaccine distribution, businesses, and more were on the list.
Opinions on Trump’s Game play
Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois said too much is at stake for Trump to “play this old switcheroo game.” he said, “I don’t get the point, I don’t understand what’s being done and why it’s being done unless it’s just to create chaos and show the power and upset because you lost the election.” Meanwhile, Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania said he understood that Trump “wanted to be remembered for advocating for big checks, but the danger is he’ll be remembered for chaos and misery and erratic behavior if he allows this to expire.”