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Lawmakers were hoping to come to an agreement on the next stimulus package by the end of this past week.
Unfortunately, Friday came and went without a deal and now there is no guarantee that a deal will be made within a specific time period.
It also means that for now more stimulus checks will not go out.
However, the president has signed a series of executive orders and memorandums that are now authorizing or attempting to authorize new benefits.
Here’s a breakdown of those perks.
Payroll tax holiday
Employees have payroll taxes deducted from paychecks in order to cover programs like Social Security and Medicare. This amount will usually be around 7.5% of your earnings.
The new payroll tax cut would mean that you get to keep this money in your paycheck.
So this could be a great way to benefit those who are currently employed although those without income would not see any benefit.
The president signed an executive memorandum called “Memorandum on Deferring Payroll Tax Obligations in Light of the Ongoing COVID-19 Disaster,” that would allow this payroll tax holiday to benefit employees earning less than $104,000 per year from September 1 all the way through the end of the year.
This is kind of a roundabout way of offering a stimulus check to people but as mentioned it only benefits those currently receiving paychecks from employers.
It’s also worth mentioning that this is structured as a deferral that would not impose any penalties, interest, or additional amounts and that would perhaps eliminate the obligation to pay the taxes deferred.
There was an evection moratorium in place from the CARES act but that expired at the end of July.
This moratorium protected renters who were living in buildings that had mortgages secured by the federal government.
President Trump signed an executive order called “Fighting the Spread of COVID-19 by Providing Assistance to Renters and Homeowners,” that will provide evection protection through the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There may also be financial assistance for renters, homeowners, lenders, and landlords.
After the $600 per week bonus unemployment benefits expired last month, lawmakers have been in fierce debates about how to resume this program.
President Trump signed an executive memorandum called, “Memorandum on Authorizing the Other Needs Assistance Program for Major Disaster Declarations Related to Coronavirus Disease 2019,” that would offer $400 per week in bonus federal unemployment benefits through December 27th.
Reportedly, states would find a 25% of this new benefit and the federal government would refund the remaining 75%.
This is proving to be a very contentious issue so I would imagine that Congress will have a lot to say about this memorandum.
In fact, they already have express their opinion.
“Today’s meager announcements by the president show President Trump still does not comprehend the seriousness or the urgency of the health and economic crises facing working families,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. said in a joint statement.
“We’re disappointed that instead of putting in the work to solve Americans’ problems, the President instead chose to stay on his luxury golf course to announce unworkable, weak and narrow policy announcements to slash the unemployment benefits that millions desperately need and endanger seniors’ Social Security and Medicare.”
Student loan repayments
Federal student loans currently do not have to be paid and are not accruing interest through the end of September.
The president signed an executive memorandum called, “Memorandum on Continued Student Loan Payment Relief During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” that would extend that policy through the end of the year.
These executive orders and memorandums will likely not instantly become law and may face some type of legal challenges.
“If we get sued, it’s [from] somebody that doesn’t want people to get money,” Trump said. “And that’s not going to be a very popular thing.”
This is also why stimulus checks were likely not included in any of these because the power to amend tax law belongs to Congress.
We will see how the continued negotiations are impacted by these signed orders and how these orders might be affected by what Congress ends up drawing up.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.