President Donald Trump signed the Coronavirus Relief Bill Sunday night, narrowly avoiding a government shutdown.
The $900 billion COVID-19 Relief Package includes $600 stimulus checks for people earning up to $75,000 per year and an additional $600 per child stimulus payment.
The package also extends two federal unemployment programs, provides an additional $300 in weekly jobless benefits and adds another round of the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses.
Also included in the package is funding for vaccine distribution and schools.
Trump signed the bill into law just in time on Sunday night, averting a government shutdown that was set to begin on Tuesday.
Last week Trump called on Congress to get rid of the bill’s wasteful spending, and give more money in in direct payments to Americans, from $600 to $2,000. Something many in the GOP opposed.
“I don’t agree with $2,000 checks to the people who’ve had no loss income whatsoever, which is the vast majority of Americans,” Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) said.
The president signed the bill after two key pandemic unemployment programs expired on Saturday, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation programs.
It means those enrolled in those programs will likely not receive a payment for the final week of the year.
However, the House of Representatives voted to boost the check amount from $600 to $2,000 Monday night, so it heads to the Senate for a vote.
So when could you see your direct payment? In the last stimulus package it took the IRS two weeks after it was passed to start distributing the money.
Insiders told CNN the IRS will likely begin to get the money out in early January.
Kelly O’Connor, who owns “Kelly O’s Diner” in the Strip District, said her restaurant received a $200,000 PPP loan in May that went towards rent, utilities and payroll. But that money is long gone.
O’Connor said there is not enough income to sustain her business right now.
Governor Tom Wolf released the following statement Monday:
“I am pleased that the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Package was signed into law last night. The COVID-19 pandemic has had widespread and painful economic consequences in addition to the public health danger it poses, and this legislation provides necessary relief to Pennsylvanians in need. I thank our congressional lawmakers for their bipartisan efforts to see this bill become law.
“However, more needs to be done to truly foster a sustained economic recovery. The people and businesses hit hardest by this pandemic continue to struggle – including people who are unemployed, restaurant and bar owners and frontline workers. State and local governments are also desperately in need of aid to ensure that we can continue to provide the services our residents need.
“Congress should immediately begin planning for another round of COVID-19 relief – including direct aid to individuals, funding for state and local governments and dedicated support for the service industry. This aid is critical to support our efforts to rebuild a resilient economy – and we’ve all seen what happens when Congress waits until the last minute to get serious about providing relief.
“This bill and the support it will provide come only after months of advocacy from Americans asking their government to do more to support them. It wasn’t signed into law until after unemployment benefits expired for millions of Americans. The American people can’t afford for their leaders to play games with their lives. We need another aid package – and we need Congress to start working on it now.”
The state’s Department of Labor and industry is cautioning Pennsylvanians that a delay in federal funding being processed could cause a gap in essential payments. The state is encouraging anyone in need to apply for any additional resources they qualify for.
Cox Media Group