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If you read the details of the new coronavirus relief proposal (which are supplied below), you may have noticed that student loan relief was not mentioned.
This made a lot of people anxious about what will happen to their student loan payments because the current deferment ends this month.
But rest assured that the Biden administration has already stated that one of the first acts in office will be to direct the Department of Education to extend the existing moratorium on student loan payments, interest, and collections.
The deferment on payments could literally be extended the first day Biden takes office.
So I think everyone can fully expect for their loan payments to be deferred even further.
The question is how much further?
A lot of the benefits seem to be leaning towards an extension until September so it would not surprise me to see the deferment extended to the fall.
If there is pushback on these extensions then we might see the deferment limited to the beginning of the summer. Anything shorter than that would really surprise me.
As for student loan forgiveness, there has been some talk of having some type of student loan forgiveness such as a $10,000 forgiveness amount.
I don’t think many people are very optimistic about this measure gaining traction in the relief package but there will likely be some talk about it.
Most likely, we will see some type of legislation appear for student loan forgiveness during the Biden presidency but it could be “postponed” for a while.
President-elect Joe Biden just released details of a new $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal.
The proposal addresses a lot of the features left out of the last $900 billion stimulus bill including bigger checks. But it also has some more wishlist type items like an increased minimum wage.
Check out what the package known as the “American Rescue Plan” has to offer.
The plan calls for sending out $1,400 payments to eligible recipients. This would bring the total to $2,000 between the second and third round of stimulus checks.
There would also be expanded eligibility for certain individuals such as children over the age of 17 and households with mixed immigration status.
Increase support for vaccines and coronavirus testing
The plan would invest $20 billion in a national vaccination program which will help launch community vaccination centers around the US. $50 billion would also be invested in testing and expanding lab capacity.
This is great to hear as the vaccine distribution has been seriously lagging.
Enhanced unemployment aid
The current unemployment benefits offer $300 a week in assistance but his plan would increase the benefit to $400 a week. He would also extend the payments along with two pandemic unemployment programs through September.
The current benefits are expected to expire in March.
It seems that the plan is targeting the fall as the cut off for a lot of these programs. It will be interesting to see if Congress can agree to extend those benefits out that far or if they have to settle for sometime like the beginning of summer.
Rental assistance and eviction moratorium
The plan calls for $25 billion in rental assistance for low- and moderate-income households who have lost jobs during the pandemic. A separate $5 billion would help renters who are struggling to pay utility bills.
Also, the plan would extend the federal eviction moratorium to September 30. (It is currently set to expire at the end of this month.)
There would be a 15% increase in food stamp benefits through September of next year instead of them expiring in June. There would also be $3 billion to help women, infants and children secure food.
Child care and child tax credits
The new proposal calls for a $25 billion emergency fund and adds $15 billion to an existing program that helps child care providers, including family child care homes, to pay for rent, utilities, and payroll.
The child tax credit may be boosted to $3,600 for children under six and $3,000 for those between the ages of six and 17 years old.
Assistance for small business
The new plan will provide $15 billion to create new grants for small business owners which will be separate from the PPP.
Aid for states in schools
The plan will distribute a whopping $350 billion to state, local and territorial governments.
The funds would be used for a variety of purposes such as helping frontline workers, vaccine distribution, testing, and help with schools.
$15 an hour minimum wage
This came as a bit of a surprise but the proposal calls for Congress to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and to end the minimum wage for those who receive tips as well as the sub-minimum wage for people with disabilities.
Just when things were starting to die down a little bit, we had the riots in Washington DC and shortly after that, President Trump became the first president in the history of the country to be impeached twice.
And now as we are only about a week away from the transition of power, there are measures being taken to prevent another major riot not just at US capitol but in places all around the country.
Meanwhile, we have a pandemic that is still raging throughout the country, causing shut downs and still preventing our economy from fully bouncing back for the time being.
We also have a vaccine distribution plan that has thus far under achieved to a great degree.
So a major worry is that stimulus relief will not get the attention it deserves because lawmakers are going to be preoccupied with other things including the impeachment trial that will take place in the Senate.
Luckily, there are still lawmakers, including key Republicans, who are pushing for $2,000 checks as a top priority.
Sen. Marco Rubio is one of the,
“It would send a powerful message to the American people if, on the first day of your presidency, you called on the House and Senate to send you legislation to increase the direct economic impact payments to Americans struggling due to the pandemic from $600 to $2,000,” he wrote.
“You have the ability to help break the paralysis in Washington by delivering desperately needed relief,” Rubio said.
“I implore you to rise above the rhetoric and deliver an increase in assistance for American families.”
We’ve already learned that it looks like Iawmakers would send an additional $1,400 check rather than an additional $2,000 check and as more letters appear, this seems more likely.
There is always the potential for this process to drag out though. The last time lawmakers attempted to agree on a stimulus bill it took almost a year.
So it would be pretty incredible if the new Biden administration could get the ball rolling from day one and that might be possible if more Republicans are willing to get on board.
Although Democrats have the numbers for majority in both the House and the Senate, I think they still need some Republican support to get a robust proposal through Congress.
Today, we should be hearing details about the new Biden proposal for coronavirus relief that is said to cost in the trillions.
We’re pretty sure that it will include increased stimulus payments but we still don’t know exactly how much and also we don’t know what type of timeline they will be shooting for.
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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.