White House, Democratic negotiators run out of time to reach dealbefore a self-imposed Friday deadline. Delaying the process is an argument over how to extend two key benefits that expired in July. According to the Washington Post, both sides will seek to renew and as they work on other parts of the bill.
As both sides – Republicans, including White House officials and Democrats – agree on the need for afor for those who meet the , these and other sticking points create a wedge on how to balance aid to struggling Americans during the with a need for revival .
In addition to a new check, the bill being negotiated could provide a range of financial aid until the end of 2020. How likely is it that major financial benefits like additional weekly unemployment benefit, payroll protection and tax relief for employee retention the final stimulus bill? Read on for our assessment of what’s left on the table. This story is frequently updated to reflect new developments on Capitol Hill.
Second stimulus test: designed to increase spending
What it is: Aand families, depending on annual income, age, number of dependents and other factors. the authorized under the CARES Act have been sent to more than 160 million Americans – in the form of checks, prepaid credit cards or direct deposit. But there are problems and after three months, .
How could it help you: The payment is not taxable and you can use it however you want – to pay for food, accommodation, clothing, etc. The idea is that spending the checks will help the economy recover faster.
Why we think a second check will pass: The CARES Act allowed payments of up to $ 1,200 per eligible adult, as did the HEALS Act. The House of Representatives Heroes Act, meanwhile, called for $ 1,200 stimulus checks, but for more people. The White House is backing another round of checks, which likely makes it part of the final bill.
More unemployment benefits for unemployed people
What it is: Afor people who applied for unemployment for the first time or who were already receiving unemployment. The program originally granted by the CARES Act provided an additional $ 600 per week and officially , but lawmakers are now considering another surge in unemployment.
How it might help you: An extra weekly payment on top of regular unemployment benefit gives individuals and families a head start. Cutting or reducing it could be devastating for the unemployed and the economy.
Why we think this might happen: Republicans support the extension, but at a reduced rate. Democrats support an extension of the current rate of $ 600 and opposed the Senate proposal, which would extend benefits based on 70% to 75% of lost wages, starting at $ 200 per week and over time increasing to $ 500 per week, with government assistance. The benefits expired without a short term extension in place.
After a political stalemate during negotiations, GOP negotiators reportedly signaled their willingness to consider the $ 600 weekly allowance, The New York Times reported on August 4.
Payroll Protection Program to Help Businesses Retain Employees
What it is: Designed to help you keep your job, the Paycheck Protection Program offers small business forgivable loans as an incentive to keep employees on the payroll.
How it might help you: The program is designed to fund employed workers who would otherwise have lost their jobs during the pandemic. The program got off to a rocky start and it is uncertain whether the PPP achieved the goals set by Congress.
“Overall, PPP hasn’t kept many paychecks,” wrote Joshua Gotbaum in July, a visiting scholar in economic studies at the Brookings Institution. “An in-depth study found that small businesses eligible for PPP lay people off just as quickly as other businesses,” he said.
Why we think this might be extended: The Republican proposal will target the hardest-hit small businesses, Senator Susan Collins of Maine said during the bill’s rollout, including those with revenue losses of 50% or more from last year.
Employee retention tax credit could help pay workers
What it is: Under this program, an employer can receive refundable tax credits for wages paid to an employee during the pandemic. The employer can then use the credits to subtract – and even receive a refund – from the taxes they owe.
How it might help you: Again, this is not a direct payment for you, but the program encourages companies to keep workers on the payroll.
Why we think this might happen: The HEALS law includes additional tax relief for companies that hire and rehire workers, and the Democrat-backed Hero Law also builds on tax credits that were part of the original CARES law. And there is additional bipartisan support as well.
Return to work payment of $ 450 per week
What it is: A temporary weekly bonus for unemployed people who get a new job or are rehired, in addition to their salary. As proposed by Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio, the bonus would be $ 450 per week.
How it might help you: Under Portman’s plan, the weekly bonus would go to laid-off workers who return to work.
Why we think this may not happen: The White House in May expressed interest in the bonus and Portman continues to support the idea, but that is not part of the proposal that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Senate Republicans put forward last week.
Rental assistance to help stop evictions
What it is: This plan would help tenants pay rent and help landlords spend with less rent, especially as the United States faces potential ”. »
How it might help you: The Rental Assistance Program would temporarily help you pay rent if you qualify, stay evictions for a year, and cover costs for rental property owners due to insufficient rental payments..
Why we think this might happen: House Democrats have included a moratorium on evictions in their hero bill. It was not part of the Senate proposal, but on July 29 President Donald Trump said that eviction safeguards would be part of the package. As with UI, Congress is looking to expand this separately as it works on the final bill.
Reduced payroll taxes to give you more money in your wallet this year
What it is: Trump pushed for months to include temporary payroll tax cuts in the next stimulus package. The proposal could include a reduction in both employer and employee payroll taxes.
How it might help you: If you have a job, reducing payroll taxes would allow you to keep more of your income with every check. The plan would not help those who are unemployed and do not receive a paycheck. The 30 million people who applied for unemployment insurance on July 11 would not benefit. “Workers would still be forced to pay these taxes next year,” The New York Times reported.
Why we don’t think this will happen: Neither the Heroes Act nor the current Senate plan provides for a payroll tax cut. The White House continues to push for the idea.
Until we know for sure what the finalized stimulus bill will bring, there are resources to help you get through the financial crisis, includingand ; ; and ; comment ; and .
Julie Snyder contributed to this story.