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Millions of Americans face unemployment benefits lapse

11 months 5 days 19 hours ago Friday, December 25 2020 Dec 25, 2020 December 25, 2020 9:58 AM December 25, 2020 in News
Source: BBC News

A challenging year draws to a close with hope arriving in the form of promising COVID vaccinations that are already being administered to healthcare workers across the nation.

But even as this glimmer of hope appears, so does a looming financial threat that would impact millions of Americans.

According to the BBC, a large number of unemployed citizens may lose their unemployment benefits after Saturday due to a political standoff over a $900 billion stimulus package.

President Donald Trump, unhappy with a number of details that comprise the current package, has refused to sign the measure into law unless it is edited, though Republicans and Democrats have blocked proposals.

The coronavirus economic relief bill was agreed by both sides. But the President feels strongly that the bill should offer Americans a more substantial one-time stimulus check. He also mentioned his desire to see a cut in foreign aid.

As well as threatening unemployment benefits, a moratorium on evictions may not be extended unless the bill is enacted by the end of Dec. 26, the BBC notes.

Lawmakers could pass a stopgap bill by Monday to prevent a partial government shutdown looming a day later, but this would not include coronavirus aid and the President would still have to sign it.

Should the situation go unresolved, 14 million Americans would be affected by a lapse in unemployment benefit payments and new stimulus checks.

As legislators continue working towards a solution on Capitol Hill, the president is currently at his resort in Palm Beach, Florida. But in a recent memo the White House assured the public that President Trump isn't simply vacationing. The memo said he continues to work "tirelessly" by attending "many meetings and calls."

On Thursday morning, the President was spotted at his golf course.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, said the lower chamber would meet again next Monday to vote on the stimulus payments for Americans.

On the same day, the House is also expected to vote on an unrelated, $740 billion defense spending bill, which Mr. Trump also vetoed on Wednesday.

Lawmakers plan to override the president's veto and enact the legislation anyway, but to do so they need two-thirds of votes in both the House and Senate.

The president refused to sign the bill into law based on his objecting to provisions in the defense bill that limit troop withdrawals from Afghanistan and Europe, and remove Confederate leaders' names from military bases.

While lawmakers continue to hash out a plan, millions of Americans anxiously await their decision, hoping that some sort of economic relief is headed their way. 

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