If another economic relief package comes by the end of 2020, it may not contain a stimulus check, but it could still benefit millions of Americans. With the legislative session winding down, economists are lowering their expectations according to a report by CBS News, and hoping for a scaled-down stimulus package at least. This would likely focus on urgent emergency programs, and not direct payments.
The U.S. Congress returns to work on Monday, Nov. 30, and needs to work quickly to avoid a government shutdown by Dec. 11. Due to the worsening coronavirus pandemic, Americans need financial aid now more than ever, and lawmakers on both sides are now pushing for a smaller stimulus package, according to a report by CNET. This would likely mean that a stimulus check would be postponed to focus on programs like unemployment, school funding and money for states to conduct coronavirus testing and treatment.
For those that are collecting unemployment, this could mean that they finally have the additional weekly stipend back from the first stimulus check back in March. It would also be a kind of relief for those that are in danger of losing their jobs, knowing that there is a safety net there to catch them.
The bill would also likely extend some version of the Payroll Protection Program, helping small businesses to continue paying workers their wages. While studies showed that the original program was abused, and was not as effective as it was expected to be, both Republicans and Democrats support reviving it — with some tweaks to make it work more efficiently.
Finally, another stimulus bill would most likely extend the moratorium on evictions and include other protections for property renters during the pandemic. With millions of people out of work and behind on rent, this could be vital to preventing a mass homelessness problem in the near future.
Whatever the bill includes, many are just crossing their fingers that anything will be passed at all. Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt appeared on CNN on Sunday, saying: "We need to do this now. We need to continue the funding for the vaccine, the delivery of the vaccine... Direct money to struggling families would be helpful, and some extension of unemployment."
Congress resumes its session on Monday, Nov. 30, and has until Friday, Dec. 11 to pass a budget and avert a government shut-down. Beyond that, a stimulus bill is reportedly its next top priority.