With many federal benefits and protections set to expire next month, some may be wondering, what’s going on with President Biden’s stimulus relief package he promised? One of the most critical benefits, federal unemployment assistance, which provides $300 in weekly payments to about 11.4 million Americans, is set to expire in mid-March unless Congress approves a new stimulus relief package.
The house has already passed its version of the stimulus package, so it is the U.S. Senate who now must pass the House relief package, or one of their own. The issue is that the Senate must approve a stimulus package with all 50 Democrats supporting it. The Senate democrats cannot afford for even one member to vote against the package. The major obstacle they will have to overcome – and quick – is the measure to raise minimum wage to $15 per hour. The U.S. House of Representatives included this measure in their version of the stimulus package but at least two Senate democrats they would veto the entire stimulus relief if it included this provision.
The House stimulus package provides $1,400 per person for individuals making less than $75,000 and for families who earn less than $150,000. There is a steeper phasing out for individuals and families earning more than the last stimulus payments, with individuals making more than $100,000 and families earning more than $200,000 being cut off completely.
This week Senators returned to their home states as the Senate is in recess, making next week a critical time for the Senate to reach a compromise and pass a stimulus relief bill that the House (and the President) will sign off on.
Luckily, some relief for struggling Americans is not caught up in Congress. President Biden extended two measures, which were set to expire soon. The federal foreclosure moratorium has been extended through June and ensures that all homeowners with federally backed mortgages will not face foreclosure. The President has also extended the period of time homeowners may sign up for mortgage forbearance. Eligible homeowners have until the end of June to apply for this relief.
Kelly R. McClintock joined Grewal Law in 2019 to help establish a human trafficking litigation division and to assist Grewal’s already successful practices, including sexual assault litigation, and family law.