President Donald Trump dragged his toes in signing a brand new COVID-19 reduction invoice, which might price over 14 million unemployed Americans a full week of help.
Congress handed a COVID-19 reduction invoice final week after months of negotiations. The emergency reduction got here on the final minute ― the federal applications Congress created earlier this yr to assist Americans who misplaced their jobs because of the pandemic expired on Dec. 26. But Trump, who had proven little curiosity in collaborating in COVID-19 reduction discussions, forged doubt on the package deal within the eleventh hour and primarily threatened to veto it until Congress reconvened to barter a brand new deal. Trump caved on his calls for, begrudgingly signing the invoice on Sunday night time.
His delay could have real-life penalties for tens of millions of Americans, though specialists are nonetheless checking out the potential harm. The worst case can be for unemployment recipients to overlook out on one week of the additional $300 included within the invoice, in line with Michele Evermore, an unemployment coverage knowledgeable with the National Employment Law Project. That would imply 10 weeks of additional federal employment advantages somewhat than the 11 included within the laws.
States might, nevertheless, be capable of rectify the scenario by modifying the dates of the brand new advantages applications with the Department of Labor and permitting for again pay. But that might take time to implement, doubtless inflicting a delay in folks receiving their checks, Evermore mentioned.
“For families wondering how they will pay January rent or buy groceries, a weeks-long delay could have serious consequences,” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), the highest Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, mentioned Sunday in a press release. “While it’s a huge relief that the bill is signed, Donald Trump’s tantrum has created unnecessary hardship and stress for millions of families.”
The president’s outburst was at odds together with his personal social gathering and administration, which had painstakingly negotiated the invoice for months. But it additionally might have thrown the nation into chaos — refusal to signal the invoice would have induced a authorities shutdown, delayed distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine and slowed down stimulus funds.
Trump criticized the bill final week, saying the federal government spending Congress handed was “wasteful” and calling the coronavirus provisions insufficient. He mentioned he wouldn’t assist the invoice until Congress elevated direct stimulus funds ― which helps a giant push from Democratic lawmakers ― and eradicated a number of international help provisions.
The legislation consists of reduction for small companies, cash for vaccine procurement and distribution, and help for Okay-12 faculties, schools and universities. It will even present $300 per week in unemployment till mid-March, in addition to a $600 direct fee to Americans incomes beneath $75,000. The invoice handed in Congress with veto-proof majorities: 359-53 within the House and 92-6 within the Senate.
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