A new week is under way, and Americans want to know if Congress has made any steps toward issuing another round of stimulus payments.
As of August 25, both sides of the aisle were at a standstill on the parameters of a second bill, and as CNET reported, discussions likely won’t resume amid the Republican National Convention, which runs through August 27.
In a weekend statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi shared, “We are engaged in a debate not just about dollars and cents. It is about values and common sense.”
She urged Republicans to “return to the negotiating table immediately.” The Senate is currently adjourned until after Labor Day.
Here’s what you need to know:
There’s a ‘Possibility It May Not Happen at All’
According to Forbes, times are uncertain and we should “contemplate the possibility it may not happen at all.”
Forbes outlined that what mattered when the CARES Act was being drafted still stands: unemployment, housing and the spread of the coronavirus continue to be major concerns.
After the Senate failed to reach its self-imposed August 7 deadline to agree on the details of a package, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to extend federal unemployment benefits by up to $400 per week, according to Forbes.
But that benefit isn’t quite what it promises to be. Forbes contributor Zack Friedman reported on August 18:
Last week, after weeks of failing to secure a stimulus deal, President Donald Trump issued an executive order that would have provided $400 a week in supplemental unemployment benefits. However, the $400 benefit was contingent upon states funding 25%, or $100. Later, the U.S. Labor Department said that states could apply their current state unemployment benefits toward the 25% share, which effectively reduced the weekly unemployment benefit to $300 instead of $400. To date, no state government has agreed to fund the supplemental $100.
Could You Get an EIP Payment?
Rumors have circulated that qualifying Americans could receive an economic impact payment in the form of a card instead of a check. EIP cards, in the words of CNET, “are debit cards that you can spend like cash or transfer to your bank.” Nearly 4 million individuals started receiving EIP card payments starting in May.
After the CARES Act was passed, EIP cards were sent to qualifying citizens who did not have banking information on file with the IRS, according to CNET.
With an EIP card, you can make purchases, get cash from ATMs and transfer funds to your personal account with no fee, reported the outlet.
It is unclear whether people who received EIP cards through the CARES Act will receive them again because a second round of stimulus payments has not yet been agreed upon.
The House, the Senate and the White House have all indicated support for another round of checks but have reached an impasse on the details of another stimulus package. In the words of CNET, “If a second stimulus bill does get approved, you may get your payment the same way you did the first time around — so if you received an EIP card, you’ll probably get another one. It may be that if you do have new banking information to provide, you could receive your check a different way.”
For now, it is a waiting game to see if Democrats and Republicans can come together and successfully negotiate a new stimulus bill.
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