SEVERE WX : Winter Weather Advisory - Winter Storm Watch View Alerts

Don't expect a second stimulus check this year. Here's what Congress is talking about instead

Even with coronavirus spiking and new restrictions taking effect, Congress remains stalled on fresh relief for Americans in need.While there's support...

Posted: Nov 30, 2020 10:37 AM
Updated: Nov 30, 2020 11:30 AM

Even with coronavirus spiking and new restrictions taking effect, Congress remains stalled on fresh relief for Americans in need.

While there's support from both Republicans and Democrats for sending out another round of payments, it's unlikely Americans will get a second round of stimulus checks before the end of the year -- and lawmakers have been unable to come to any agreement on a broader economic aid package.

Congress returns to Washington this week focused on passing a broader spending bill by December 11 to avert a partial government shutdown, though it's possible that some relief programs could be added to such a broader spending bill.

If anything, those provisions may extend programs set to expire on December 31 -- including expanded unemployment benefits, an eviction moratorium and a pause on student loan payments.

Disagreements over new checks

There's been little talk from lawmakers of a second round of stimulus checks since the summer. The most recent stimulus package proposal put forth by Republicans, who currently control the Senate, didn't include money for direct payments.

President-elect Joe Biden supports a $3 trillion Democratic-backed bill that passed the House in May, which provided for a second round of checks. But that package has little chance of passing Congress unless Democrats gain control of the Senate by winning both runoff Senate races in Georgia set for January 5.

More than 160 million Americans received stimulus payments earlier in the year, after Congress approved a $2 trillion aid package in March. They helped keep many families out of poverty as millions of people lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

But for many, that $1,200 check has already been spent. Now, as coronavirus cases surge, a group of more than 120 economists are urging lawmakers to approve another round of checks, arguing that they are 'one of the quickest, most equitable, and most effective ways to get families and the economy back on track.'

Congress has already allowed some relief programs to expire, like the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses and the $600 federal boost to weekly unemployment benefits.

But others end this month. If Congress adds any stimulus to the general spending bill, they may prioritize pushing back those deadlines.

Expanded unemployment benefits

As part of the historic broadening of jobless benefits under the CARES Act, lawmakers created three programs to help out-of-work Americans. While the $600 payment enhancement lasted only four months, the other two run through the week ending December 26, which is the last weekend of the year.

One of them, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, allows independent contractors, the self-employed and gig workers to qualify for payments. It also opens up the program to those who can't work because of the pandemic, including if they or family members are ill or quarantining or if their children's schools are closed.

The other program, called Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, provides an additional 13 weeks of federally paid benefits to those who run out of state payments, which typically last 26 weeks.

Student loan payment pause

In March, the US government automatically suspended payments and waived interest on federal student loans. That meant millions of borrowers could skip making their monthly payments without their balances getting any bigger.

Initially, the relief -- which was included in the $2 trillion congressional stimulus package -- was set to expire at the end of September. But President Donald Trump later moved the date to December 31 by an executive action.

If neither Trump or Congress acts to push the deadline back, millions of student loan payments will come due a couple of weeks before Biden takes office on January 20. Even if Biden reinstates the pause retroactively, it could create confusion for borrowers as well as a mess for student loan processors, who aren't built to suddenly stop or start payment.

Eviction protection

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention order that went into effect in September temporarily halted evictions through the end of the year. It applies to renters who meet certain income requirements, have experienced significant losses of income and have made their best efforts to find rental assistance and pay their rent.

Since the order does not cancel or freeze rent, all of a tenant's back rent will be due January 1 if the moratorium is allowed to expire. Without rent relief or an extension of the protection, many struggling renters will again face eviction.

An eviction moratorium established by Congress in March shielded only tenants who receive federal assistance or live in rental properties with federally backed financing. That protection lapsed over the summer.

Paid family leave

Earlier in the year, lawmakers expanded paid family leave benefits for many workers who become ill or are caring for someone else.

It was limited to employees of companies with fewer than 500 workers but provided up to two weeks of paid sick leave and an additional 10 weeks of paid expanded family leave for parents who need to care for children whose schools closed.

However, the payments are capped, and small businesses can apply for waivers from the provisions affecting workers whose children's schools have shut down.

Those benefits also are set to expire on December 31.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 136839

Reported Deaths: 1865
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah28929461
Washington19113178
Marion16575246
Clackamas11937141
Lane8653113
Jackson707395
Umatilla694172
Deschutes513140
Yamhill326947
Malheur319353
Linn317949
Polk253440
Klamath250546
Josephine181936
Benton179214
Douglas174943
Jefferson172725
Union114017
Wasco110523
Columbia106918
Lincoln101917
Hood River97421
Coos97215
Morrow96210
Clatsop7075
Crook64511
Baker5815
Tillamook3682
Curry3245
Lake2405
Grant2171
Harney1796
Wallowa993
Gilliam521
Sherman470
Wheeler201
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3124420

Reported Deaths: 36362
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles105480214894
San Bernardino2611991579
Riverside2585322777
San Diego2225782301
Orange2188672547
Santa Clara963401181
Kern88399587
Fresno841371043
Sacramento823031157
Alameda69554856
Ventura63995507
San Joaquin59395808
Contra Costa54140484
Stanislaus43644782
Tulare42759531
Monterey36950259
San Mateo33468340
San Francisco29801275
Solano26494111
Santa Barbara25986260
Imperial25509493
Merced25048324
Sonoma24571245
Kings19703160
Placer17675188
San Luis Obispo16437151
Madera13664151
Santa Cruz12649130
Marin11899163
Yolo10940138
Shasta9920129
Butte9643134
El Dorado800259
Sutter792783
Napa777446
Lassen522416
San Benito510148
Yuba504929
Tehama440844
Tuolumne344340
Nevada329274
Mendocino323433
Amador303832
Lake266932
Humboldt249425
Glenn196420
Colusa18549
Calaveras164723
Siskiyou148413
Mono11354
Inyo100729
Del Norte8702
Plumas6055
Modoc3863
Mariposa3464
Trinity3054
Sierra880
Alpine730
Unassigned00
Medford
Mostly Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 45°
Brookings
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 50°
Medford
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 30° Lo: 16°
Feels Like: 45°
Medford
Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 45°
Klamath Falls
Clear
38° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 31°
Mostly dry Saturday with wintry weather Sunday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events