This article was last updated on September 23
Congressional leaders have reached an agreement to continue funding the government until December 11th, to ensure this does not become an election issue and required agencies are in place to support outcomes. Unfortunately the short term spending bill passed did not include anything on funding additional stimulus payments or unemployment benefits. This is especially frustrating to the millions of Americans desperate for more federal support as the effects of the COVID pandemic are still being felt in many parts of the country.
Some good news was that the spending bill included relief for Farmers through $21bn in increased farm aid (a Republican priority items) and $8bn food assistance for lower income families and their school age children (a Democrat priority). But this bill and discussions around it that were driven by the White House and Democrats did not include the possible 2020 to 2021 extension of unemployment benefits or additional stimulus checks in 2020.
With FEMA funding for the supplementary $300 Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) having run out after only 6 weeks of the possible 17 weeks of the program duration, many Americans will be relying on basic state unemployment (using PUA or PEUC) to make ends meet through the end of the year. Not an ideal situation for most unemployed or under-employed American workers.