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Today, Congress released two new bills that are aimed at providing the country with emergency economic relief for the pandemic.
There is a $748 billion package that includes a lot of the benefits that we knew were coming like unemployment benefits, and relief to small businesses.
It will also include funds for vaccine distribution, coronavirus testing, and more money for education.
Students will be happy to see that there is an extension on student loan repayments through April 1.
Then there is a second smaller bill that includes some of the more contentious issues such as liability protections for businesses faced with coronavirus related lawsuits and around $160 billion in aid for state and local governments.
Unfortunately, neither bill contains more stimulus checks.
The good news is that the stimulus bill has now been divided into two separate parts.
The first part is basically everything that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have agreed on and the second part is filled with the more controversial components.
This greatly increases the chances of a bill getting passed very soon — perhaps as soon as this week.
If you are a small business counting on more aid or an individual currently not employed and depending on unemployment benefits, your outlook just got a lot better with this approach.
With that said, things are still subject to change.
Leadership in Congress made it clear that this proposal is not the final vehicle for aid and that more negotiations are set to take place.
It appears Congress is still working with the deadline at the end of the week so it’s possible that these negotiations may only take place over a matter of a few days but you never now.
As for the second part of the bill, that contains the contested elements from both Republicans and Democrats. So there is still no telling how that bill would end up coming through, assuming it even gets passed.
While all of this news is encouraging, the problem is that it puts more stimulus checks in a bit of a no man’s land.
They are not included in the controversial issue bill so it’s not clear exactly how lawmakers feel about more checks at this point.
It’s very possible that some lawmakers feel that more checks will go out eventually but not until after inauguration day which could explain why they are not opposing a bill leaving out stimulus checks.
We might hear more opposition to leaving out stimulus checks during this week but given how the bipartisan proposal has evolved, it doesn’t look like it is trending in the direction of including more checks.
At least not for now.
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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.