US Heads Into Another Week Without Stimulus Bill

US Heads Into Another Week Without Stimulus Bill

Source Image: Wikimedia Commons by Gage Skidmore

Politicians in the U.S. still have not finalized the second major stimulus measure that's been in the works since May.

What Happened

Though a week ago congressional lawmakers agreed on the $900 billion in aid and the next day passed it, U.S. President Donald Trump has not signed it. Emergency unemployment benefits for 14 million people, put in place in the first pandemic aid package passed in March, expired over the weekend.

Debate over the funding has led to an unusual situation where Democrats and Trump are on the same side, calling for direct checks to Americans of $2,000, while Republicans want to stick to the $600 checks already agreed to in the aid package. The package also covers forgivable loans for small businesses, eviction protections for renters, and funding for vaccine distribution.

The $900 billion package is attached to a $1.4 trillion government spending bill. The government faces the threat of shutdown if it is not passed — part of the more run-of-the-mill brinksmanship that lawmakers have engaged in since pre-pandemic times.

What's Next

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has pushed for a separate vote on Monday, Dec. 28 over the direct checks for individuals, while lawmakers from both parties urge Trump to sign the bill passed last week.

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