- President Donald Trump did not sign the latest coronovirus relief law before midnight on Saturday, costing unemployed workers $ 300 a week of federal unemployment benefits.
- State agencies can only distribute benefits for weeks after the bill goes into effect, meaning that due to delays, unemployed benefits can be distributed for 10 weeks instead of 11.
- Nearly 14 million Americans have also lost unemployment benefits, as two federal programs ended on Saturday.
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President Donald Trump had not signed the latest coronovirus relief law until midnight on Saturday, with at least a week of $ 300 federal unemployment benefits expected to cost unemployed workers.
Trump suggested he could reject the $ 900 billion stimulus package, which passed in both chambers of Congress earlier this week, unless it includes $ 2,000 incentive checks for Americans.
The bill currently includes $ 300 weekly federal unemployment insurance with a $ 300 check.
“I just want our greats to get a measly $ 600 instead of the $ 2,000 that’s in the bill now. Plus, ‘Pork,’ stop billions of dollars in Trump.” Tweeted Saturday morning.
The president has not clarified whether he will sign the law, but the delay jeopardizes other federal aid programs and could prove costly for Americans whose unemployment benefits were about to resume on December 26.
By not signing the bill before it expires on Saturday, Trump has cut $ 300 a week in federal unemployment benefits for unemployed people, according to Michelle Evermore, a policy expert at the National Employment Law Project.
But he cautioned that without federal guidance it is difficult to project how the holdup would affect other unemployment programs.
“I’m not entirely sure how that would be interpreted – at the very least, we lose $ 300 a week,” Evermore told Insider. “Never mind, if he doesn’t sign, next week it will be reduced to 10 weeks of an additional $ 300.”
The $ 300 federal unemployment supplement included in the bill is set to expire on March 14, a date that will not change depending on the bill’s law.
Depending on where the bill is signed, labor agencies can resume payments during the first week of January. Because states cannot provide benefits for the weeks prior to the bill’s approval, the $ 300 supplement may only be for 11 weeks, rather than the intended 11K.
About 14 million people are at risk of losing unemployment benefits, as Saturday was the last day that two federal unemployment programs distribute their payments. They are epidemic unemployment assistance for gig workers and freelancers and epidemic emergency unemployment compensation for those ending state benefits.
In tweet Saturday, including Sent before midnight, Trump again called for a relief bill to include higher incentive checks.
Trump may also sign the package in the following days, though he has not indicated whether he will do so.