Hicham Oumlil, a self-employed fashion designer in Brooklyn, said that he and his wife, a furloughed interior designer, are both set to lose nearly $600 a week, leaving the couple and their 7-year-old son without a source of income. Having paid less than half of his rent each month for the past three months, Mr. Oumlil, 48, said he feared falling deeper into debt if the relief bill did not become law.
The Second Stimulus
Answers to Your Questions About the Stimulus Bill
Updated Dec 23, 2020
Lawmakers agreed to a plan to issue stimulus payments of $600 and distribute a federal unemployment benefit of $300 for 11 weeks. You can find more about the bill and what’s in it for you here.
- Will I receive another stimulus payment? Individual adults with adjusted gross income on their 2019 tax returns of up to $75,000 a year would receive a $600 payment, and heads of households making up to $112,500 and a couple (or someone whose spouse died in 2020) earning up to $150,000 a year would get twice that amount. If they have dependent children, they would also get $600 for each child. People with incomes just above these levels would receive a partial payment that declines by $5 for every $100 in income.
- When might my payment arrive? Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC that he expected the first payments to go out before the end of the year. But it will be a while before all eligible people receive their money.
- Does the agreement affect unemployment insurance? Lawmakers agreed to extend the amount of time that people can collect unemployment benefits and restart an extra federal benefit that is provided on top of the usual state benefit. But instead of $600 a week, it would be $300. That would last through March 14.
- I am behind on my rent or expect to be soon. Will I receive any relief? The agreement would provide $25 billion to be distributed through state and local governments to help renters who have fallen behind. To receive assistance, households would have to meet several conditions: Household income (for 2020) cannot exceed more than 80 percent of the area median income; at least one household member must be at risk of homelessness or housing instability; and individuals must qualify for unemployment benefits or have experienced financial hardship — directly or indirectly — because of the pandemic. The agreement said assistance would be prioritized for families with lower incomes and that have been unemployed for three months or more.
“Our livelihoods have been shattered,” he said. “The government is showing no leadership. I am floored by what is currently happening in Congress.”
After House Republicans blocked a Democratic effort to unilaterally increase the $600 direct payments to $2,000 per adult, top Democrats plan to hold a roll-call vote on the measure on Monday when the full House is present. Lawmakers could also potentially approve a stopgap funding bill to keep the government running.
“As the economy continues to falter, folks are hanging on by a thread and desperately need this federal relief to continue so they can afford basics like food, medicine, diapers, phone bills and housing,” said Representative Richard E. Neal of Massachusetts, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. “It is underhanded and cruel for the president now to refuse to sign it into law and potentially end this brutal year by inflicting even more pain and suffering on families in need.”
The president’s implicit threat to reject the spending package roiled Republicans on Capitol Hill, who said Mr. Trump’s rebuke of the legislation had taken them by surprise after they overwhelmingly supported the bill. (In fact, many of Mr. Trump’s complaints were about measures in the government funding bills that were in line with White House budget requests.)
The direct payments were kept at half of the original $1,200 amount approved in the $2.2 trillion stimulus law in March, partly to accommodate a Republican reluctance to spend more than $1 trillion, and there is little indication a majority of Republicans would support such an increase.
“I hope the president looks at this again and reaches that conclusion that the best thing to do is to sign the bill,” Senator Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri, told reporters this week. “I think that would be to the president’s advantage if we were talking about his accomplishments rather than questioning decisions late in the administration, but, again, Congress has very little control over what the president can say.”