Mitch McConnell hasn't endorsed the $908 billion stimulus compromise. Here's what's at stake if the talks fall apart.
Summary List PlacementNegotiations on another bipartisan stimulus package are ongoing on Capitol Hill, but have yet to gain the support of a critical player. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has not endorsed the $908 billion economic aid plan, which Democratic congressional leaders threw their support behind last week. Instead, he has circulated a slimmer $550 billion plan that would mostly direct federal dollars to small businesses and schools. Republicans have pressed to include a liability shield to guard firms from coronavirus-related lawsuits. "There's reporting that we are close to a deal, I wish that were the case," Sen. John Kennedy told Capitol Hill reporters on Tuesday. "We do not have our ducks in a row. We don't know where our ducks are, we're stuck." Pressure has mounted on Congress to strike a deal and get federal aid out the door quickly as cases spike and unemployment remains well above pre-pandemic levels. Democrats argue the dire situation demands a large spending bill to contain the economic devastation. "Mitch McConnell is forcing a half measure, or more likely, a quarter measure that's going to leave a lot of empty stockings at the end of the year," Sen. Ron Wyden, ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, told Business Insider on Monday. He added he was growing anxious about "a tsunami of evictions." Here's a run-down of the high stakes if lawmakers fail to approve another economic relief package by the end of the year. Nearly 12 million people could lose all jobless aid Earlier this year, Congress and President Donald Trump approved an expansion of unemployment benefits to help people weather the fallout of the pandemic. The federal government tacked on an extra $600 to weekly state unemployment checks and added 13 more weeks to regular base benefits. The federal benefit expired as Congress failed to strike a deal to replace that amount. Now 12 million people are threatened with the loss of all their unemployment assistance the day after Christmas. Many of them are gig workers and contractors benefiting from Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which expires Dec. 31. "I think it's ridiculous we have to fight this hard. Right now during this pandemic, people are just trying to survive," Stephanie Freed, the co-director of ExtendPUA, an advocacy group for unemployed gig workers, told Business Insider. "We shouldn't also be thinking: 'What's a new way I can appeal to my senator to make them care about the fact people don't have enough to eat.'" A moratorium on evictions is ending on December 31 An eviction moratorium already extended by Trump in September will lapse at the end of the year. The measure is designed to protect people in all residential properties, though it didn't provide renters with cash to make up for missed monthly payments. It's expiration would put between 30 and 40 million renters at risk of losing their homes — and that may worsen the public health situation. A new study from a group of researchers at John Hopkins University, Boston University, the University of California Los Angeles and Wake Forest School of Law indicated that at least 10,000 COVID-19 deaths in the US resulted from evictions this year. Paid leave will expire for millions of Americans Congress also approved a new federal paid sick and family leave program which now covers about half the American work force. Small employers are required to provide two weeks of paid sick leave and then 10 weeks for paid family and medical leave under the Families First Act. That is set to end, and up to 87 million workers could be deprived of the benefit. States would return unused federal relief funds State and local governments would return unspent government aid funds from the CARES Act, even if it was already allocated for rental assistance, businesses, and public health purposes. The law provided states with $150 billion for coronavirus-related spending, but their needs have grown as the year progressed. The pandemic ripped a large hole in state and municipal finances which may be hard to plug without federal aid, experts say, a result of falling revenue from sales and income taxes. The Brookings Institute projected state and local government revenues would decline $155 billion in 2020 and $167 billion next year.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: We tested a machine that brews beer at the push of a button
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At least a temporary lapse in expanded unemployment benefits for millions of Americans is now inevitable...At least a temporary lapse in expanded unemployment benefits for millions of Americans is now inevitable because of President Trump’s delay in signing a $900 billion pandemic relief bill.
Lawmakers agreed to issue stimulus payments of $600 and distribute a federal unemployment benefit of $300...Lawmakers agreed to issue stimulus payments of $600 and distribute a federal unemployment benefit of $300 for 11 weeks. But that money will take time to start arriving.
Congressional leaders strike a long-awaited stimulus deal: $600 checks and $300 federal weekly unemployment benefits for Americans
Summary List PlacementCongressional leaders on Sunday struck a long-awaited deal on a $900 billion federal rescue...Summary List PlacementCongressional leaders on Sunday struck a long-awaited deal on a $900 billion federal rescue package, clearing final policy hurdles and paving the way for passage in the House and Senate amid an especially dark stretch of the pandemic. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the announcement from the Senate floor on Sunday afternoon. "The four leaders of the Senate and House finalized...