Millions of struggling Americans have been hoping for another large round of federal assistance since the first stimulus checks were sent out back in April. The first round of stimulus checks was up to $1,200 for single taxpayers and up to $2,400 for married couples. They also included $500 for most children.
Despite many economists, politicians, and even CEOs aggressively calling for a second stimulus check since summer, nothing has happened yet. Recently Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said it is “imperative” that lawmakers come together to pass another round of stimulus. “The increase in cases will put more pressure on small businesses that have been heavily impacted by the pandemic,” he explained.
Pandemic aid programs will run out of funding or will expire next month. Laid-off workers and small businesses are about to face some serious financial hardship, and pressure is mounting for Congress to pass another COVID-relief package. The question is will it ever happen?
Congress is on a break until after Thanksgiving, and time is quickly running out for these lawmakers to negotiate the details of a new economic rescue package before the year finishes.
One bright side however is that if Congress does not pass new legislation soon that includes a second stimulus payment, there may be another round possible with President-elect Joe Biden’s stimulus plan. This would not be until after his Jan. 20th inauguration and means payments may not hit for months.
Thankfully, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated that he is in support of another stimulus package and said in a November 4th press conference that he would like an aid deal passed before 2020 ends.
McConnell “will likely re-propose a plan he pushed in October. The McConnell plan was for $500 billion and included additional Paycheck Protection Plan funds,” remarked Brian Gardner, the chief Washington policy strategist at Stifel.
It would be great if Republicans and Democrats could finally agree on the size of the next stimulus package, as it would help to ease some financial stress that many are experiencing. As with the initial round of checks, another stimulus check would be distributed to everyone who earns less than $75,000 per single taxpayer or $150,000 per married couple. This is regardless of whether they lost work or income.
New analysis has found that 12 million workers will lose unemployment benefits in December when CARES Act provisions lapse, absent an extension.
Federal eviction protections are also scheduled to end after next month. Investment bank Stout has said there will be between 5.5 million and 6.5 million pending evictions filed by Jan. 1 if protections are not expanded.
Additionally, student loan protections are scheduled to end after December. Roughly 37 million out of the 42 million Americans with federal student loans have paused their payments in recent months (without interest accruing) and will have to restart them come January.
“It’s a tremendous amount of risk for families who are affected,” said Ernie Tedeschi, an economist at Evercore ISI and a former Treasury Department official. “[Unemployment benefits] are their last economic line of defense. And it’ll be gone on Dec. 31 unless Congress extends it,” he added.
It is unclear whether President Donald Trump is going to extend the rental or student loan protections before the year ends.
While waiting to see if Congress finally passes another stimulus package, here are a few free money-focused podcasts to check out that may help you with your spending and saving habits during these tough times.
Several personal finance leaders have started podcasts in recent years, offering their advice to help you reach your financial goals.
“While many look for financial advice online, podcasts have quickly grown to be a new and popular medium where people flock to learn from money experts and entrepreneurs,” said Keri Danielski, a consumer finance expert for Mint.
“The Dave Ramsey Show” is hosted by best-selling author and personal finance guy Dave Ramsey who talks about issues like debt, investing, retirement, insurance, and even marriage.
“Women & Money” focuses on famed personal finance guru Suze Orman. The twice a week digest runs at 30 minutes an episode and is aimed at women and “the men smart enough to listen.”