Congress has finally reached an agreement on a bipartisan $908 billion COVID-19 stimulus relief bill. Although the text of the bill was not yet released, it’s expected to include $300 in weekly enhanced unemployment benefits.
How long will those extra unemployment benefits last?
According to The Washington Post, it’s expected that qualifying Americans would receive the extra $300 per week for up to 11 weeks of unemployment, at least through March 14, 2021. The Post based that information on sources.
However, The New York Times also reported that the extra unemployment benefits are expected to last 11 weeks. Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer confirmed that an agreement was reached.
Here’s what you need to know:
The New Benefits Could Start in December 2020
Yahoo News reported that the extra unemployment benefits are not retroactive.
When would the extra unemployment benefits start? The Washington Post reported that they could start as early as December 27.
McConnell revealed the evening of December 20 that an agreement was reached between Congressional Republicans and Democrats, who have been stuck in a stalemate for months.
“BREAKING: As the American people continue battling the coronavirus this holiday season, they will not be on their own,” he wrote on Twitter. “Congress has just reached an agreement. We will pass another rescue package ASAP. More help is on the way.”
Democrats Felt That a Larger Package Was Needed
Senator Minority Leader Chuck Schumer made it clear that he wasn’t satisfied with the size of the package. Democrats had previously sought $2.2 trillion in stimulus relief, but Republicans, who control the Senate, balked at that high of a cost. They had preferred about $500 billion in stimulus relief, so the final deal represented a compromise between those two amounts.
“This #COVIDrelief will provide emergency aid to Americans,” Schumer wrote on Twitter on the evening of December 20. “But anyone who thinks this is enough does not know what’s going on in America and has not looked into the eyes of a small business owner, a restaurant owner losing their business. We must do more under President Biden.”
In addition to the extra unemployment benefits, the new package contains $600 in stimulus checks for qualifying adults and their dependents.
When it comes to unemployment benefits, the amount agreed upon is half that authorized during the first round of extra unemployment benefits, which eventually expired. People initially received $600 per week, but some Republicans believed that amount gave people too much of an incentive not to go back to work.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote on Twitter, “Congressional Democrats have reached an agreement with Republicans and the White House on an emergency coronavirus relief and omnibus package that delivers urgently needed funds to save the lives and livelihoods of the American people.” According to MSN, Pelosi “described the direct payments as “worth up to $600 per adult and child, also ensuring that mixed-status families receive payments.”