Limbo on COVID Relief Starts Hitting Home Saturday

Unemployment benefits for millions begin expiring
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 26, 2020 9:17 AM CST
Jobless Benefits for Millions Begin Expiring Saturday
A booklet describing unemployment benefits in North Andover, Mass.   (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

The impasse in DC on a COVID relief package begins to get very real on Saturday for millions of Americans. Two programs set up during the pandemic to provide benefits for the unemployed expire, reports CNBC. One helps self-employed and gig workers and the other provides $300 a week to supplement state benefits, per the New York Times. Both would be revived under a $900 billion relief package, but the measure remains in limbo. After Congress passed it, President Trump hinted at a veto because he wants relief checks increased from $600 to $2,000. Democrats back that change, but Republicans do not.

Even if a quick resolution is found, the impasse would result in at least a one-week reduction in benefits because of the logistics of putting the new legislation into place, according to the Times. The longer the delay, the bigger the problem grows. The Hill estimates that 12 million Americans are affected, most of them gig workers who are not covered by regular unemployment benefits. As of Saturday morning, Trump showed no sign of budging on his end. "I simply wan(t) to get our great people $2000, rather than $600," he tweeted. "Also, Congress should cut the 'pork.'" The House is expected to revisit the issue Monday. (More unemployment benefits stories.)

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