- President Donald Trump did not sign the latest coronavirus relief bill before midnight on Saturday, giving the unemployed a $300 a week in federal unemployment benefits.
- State agencies can only allocate unemployment benefits within a few weeks after the bill is enacted, which means that the delay may result in a 10 weeks unemployment benefit payment period instead of the original 11 weeks.
- As two federal programs expired on Saturday, about 14 million Americans also lost their unemployment benefits.
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President Donald Trump has not signed the latest coronavirus mitigation bill before midnight on Saturday, which is expected to enable unemployed workers to receive at least $300 a week in federal unemployment benefits.
Trump has hinted that he might reject the $900 billion stimulus package passed in both houses of Congress earlier this week, unless it includes a $2,000 stimulus for Americans.
The bill currently includes a check of $600 and a weekly federal unemployment insurance of $300.
Trump tweeted on Saturday: “I just want our great man to get $2,000, not the current $600. Also, don̵
The President is not yet clear whether he will sign the bill, but this delay puts other federal aid programs at risk and could cause huge losses to Americans who were supposed to resume unemployment benefits on December 26.
Michele Evermore, a policy expert for the National Employment Law Project, said that by failing to sign the bill before the end of Saturday, Trump effectively cut the $300 federal unemployment benefits for the unemployed a week. .
But she warned that without federal guidance, it is difficult to predict how this impact will affect other unemployment programs.
Evermore told Insider: “I’m not sure how this will explain, at least, we lost $300 for a week.” “Anyway, if he doesn’t sign, it will drop to 10 weeks next week with an additional $300.”
The $300 federal unemployment compensation program included in the bill ends on March 14. The date will not change based on the date the bill actually becomes law.
Depending on when the bill is signed, labor agencies can restart payments in the first week of January. Because states cannot provide benefits in the weeks before the bill is approved, the $300 grant can only be in place within 10 weeks instead of the original 11 weeks.
Approximately 14 million people are at risk of losing their unemployment benefits, because Saturday is the last day the two federal unemployment programs distribute their payments. They are pandemic unemployment assistance for show workers and freelancers, and pandemic emergency unemployment compensation for people who have exhausted state benefits.
In Saturday’s tweets, including an hour before midnight, Trump again called for the relief bill to include higher stimulus measures.
Trump can still sign the package in the next few days, although he has not yet indicated whether he will sign it.