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Trump Signs The COVID-19 Relief Bill

The massive $2.3 trillion coronavirus relief bill was signed by the US President Donald Trump making it a law. The signing of this bill prevented a government shutdown and extended billions of dollars of coronavirus aid to millions of people. The $900 billion covid relief package provides unemployment benefits for jobless, independent contractors, and the long term unemployed. 

The 12 million people (approx) who were getting payments under the two key unemployment programs will further be receiving benefits for another 11 weeks. Those, collecting jobless payments will receive a $300 weekly federal boost through mid-March. However, due to a delay in the signing of the bill, the millions are not expected to get their pays in the last week of the year. This would make the payments last for 10 weeks instead of the stated 11 weeks in the program.

The benefits are retroactive but due to the delay of Congress, there is expected to be a break in payments. The Covid-19 relief legislation awaited Trump’s signature, where he came up with a complaint stating that a separate provision would only provide $600 in direct payments. On the contrary, Trump wanted to send out $2000 checks. Trump was also offended by certain items that he had requested in his annual budget to Congress.  

Trump stated his approval of the bill only after getting a commitment that the Senate will reconsider legislation to increase check rates from $600 to $2000. However, this was not mentioned in the statement of the Senate Majority Leader McConnell. 

The relief package was extended as a part of the nation’s unemployment system that Congress made a part of the $2 trillion CARES Act in late March. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program allowed independent or self-employed, freelancers, and contractors eligible for payments. And the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation provided an additional 13 weeks of paid benefits for those who run out of state payments. The third aspect of the CARES Act measure consists of an extra $600 a week which would expire at the end of July. The eviction protection also gets extended under the relief package to January 31 and provides $25 billion as rental assistance to those who lost their jobs during the pandemic.