The coronavirus pandemic is worsening all around the country, but according to a report by Politico's The Playbook, no second stimulus check or other relief is coming soon. The entire capital, including the White House, the United States Senate and the House of Representatives have been silent on the issue, hinting that they will not pass a meaningful package before the year is over. This means that not only will there be no new aid, but that existing programs will likely expire.
President Donald Trump has shifted all of his focus to disputing the 2020 presidential election results, leaving no time to advocate for a stimulus check. No congress members are advancing any real legislation on the topic which could mean that Americans will be left waiting until late January for more progress, which is disheartening for those who are currently relying on programs that will expire by then.
Crucial programs like the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensantion prgram, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program and the credit for family sick leave for self-employed individuals will all end when the year is out. Lawmakers built an expiration date into these programs, expecting that they would have a chance to extend them if needed. However, the stimulus check stalemate that has plagued Congress has held all those efforts up.
Other expiring programs include the federal moratorium on evictions, student loan payment forbearance, charitable deduction limits and refundable tax credits for required paid sick leave. There are also programs for small business debt relief, and for the exclusion of employer payments on student loans. Other, more nuanced programs are running out, along with 33 tax provisions that have served as a safety net for Americans since March.
The lack of action on these stimulus provisions is all the more shocking because many Americans have been waiting since May for more aid. The Democrat-controlled House passed their first attempt a second stimulus check bill back in May, and the Republican-controlled Senate delayed considering it until the end of July. Since then, neither has been able to pass any meaningful bill, and little progress has been made on their disagreements.
One promise President-elect Joe Biden has made is that he will do a better job of negotiating with Congress once he takes office, thanks to his 36 years of experience as a senator and his recent tenure as vice president. Biden also hired Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond as his White House senior adviser, yet The Playbook's Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer question whether Biden's experience will be enough to break the stalemate.