A legislative battle that extended into the wee hours of Saturday has seen the federal unemployment benefits supplement whittled down to $300 per week. But that’s not the worse news.
As the Senate continues to battle over the particulars of this latest round of economic stimulus, some believe that things won’t be resolved by the March 14 cutoff. That means there could be a delay of several weeks in the money actually reaching the pocketbooks of those without a job.
“The unfortunate reality is, we waited a little too long,” said Elizabeth Pancotti, an unemployment expert and policy advisor at Employ America, as quoted by CNBC. “They needed a bill to [President Biden] by about Valentine’s Day.”
The House now needs to approve the Senate version of the stimulus plan and send it to President Joe Biden to sign into law.
More than 18 million total Americans were collecting jobless aid as of mid-February, according to Labor Department data.
The Senate version of the latest stimulus extends benefits through Sept. 6 at $300 per week, down from the originally proposed $400. The first $10,200 of unemployment is non-taxable if the household has an income under $150,000.
The current version also includes a $1,400 check for those under the $75,000 individual/$150,000 for married next income threshholds. But the latest version does not contain the $15 per hour minimum wage mandate that was being pushed by Sen. Bernie Sanders, among others.