What's at stake if congress doesn't pass pandemic relief in 2020
Last updated: February 3, 2023
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Paul Baker
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What's at stake if congress doesn't pass pandemic relief in 2020
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Which pandemic relief programs end in 2020?

As congress debates the specifics of an interim relief bill for Americans this December, which looks unlikely to include a $1200 stimulus check, a number of benefits protecting individuals edge closer to expiring at the end of 2020. Whether these programs will be renewed before the year’s end depends on the discussions happening now in Washington.

With time ticking down on pandemic relief programs, it’s important to know which will be ending and the impact it may have on your life. If these programs lapse fully, over 87 million Americans could be impacted.

Extended unemployment insurance

Expires Dec. 31, 2020

The unemployment benefit programs introduced in March 2020, that relax qualifications for workers who lost their jobs due to the pandemic will be ending if they’re not renewed for before the end of the year. Extended unemployment originally started at $600 per week, then fell to $300 per week and, if not renewed, could lapse completely. This could be a huge loss for the millions currently relying on extended #unemployment benefits.

**The encouraging news is that lawmakers seem to be in agreement about an upcoming relief bill that would extend unemployment programs into 2021. **

Expires Dec. 31, 2020

Until the end of December 2020, employers are required to provide two weeks of full paid leave for any employee who has to quarantine due to #coronavirus exposure or two weeks of reduced pay leave for employees caring for a dependent under quarantine due to coronavirus exposure.

These measures are especially crucial to maintain given the recent swell in reported #coronavirus cases and supposed increased need for paid leave as more workers are forced to quarantine. Without this benefit, employers would be free to stop paying quarantined workers for their time away. This move could de-incentivize workers to report exposure and lead to increased chance of virus transmission.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) renewal

The Paycheck Protection Program ensures that businesses have enough money to pay their employees, even in the event that they don’t run profitably during the pandemic. The majority of the loans businesses receive is reserved for payroll expenses, however some of the funds are also meant to cover increased pandemic related costs. **This has been a key part of keeping many employees on payroll. If this program lapses, many businesses could be forced to let more employees go, or close altogether. **

Want to know more? 

Eviction protections for renters

Expires December 31st, 2020

For renters who are unable to pay their rent, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) has made eviction protections available so renters can stay in their homes. Not only does this help keep renters safe and healthy, it can contribute to healthier communities by reducing travel, homelessness and group-living, all of which can contribute to the spread of the coronavirus.

Federal student loan deferment and interest freeze

Expires December 31st, 2020

Workers with outstanding federal student loans have enjoyed relief from student loan payments during the pandemic. This benefit also involves a freeze on interest for federal student loans, meaning their student loans have not accrued additional interest while the benefit has been active. If this benefit isn’t renewed before the end of this month, federal student loan holders may be held responsible for student loan and/or interest payments in 2021.

What if congress doesn’t act soon?

Congress is currently negotiating a new bill. If they don’t succeed in passing a bill before their holiday recess, beginning on December 11th, Americans may have to wait until 2021 to see a relief bill passed.

If some or all of these programs are not renewed before the end of the year, they could lapse, leaving the citizens without the financial support they need. While recent efforts to collaborate on a new relief bill have been encouraging, time is running out.


Which program do you want to see renewed the most?

Tell us what you consider most important about a relief package in 2021 in the comments below.

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lindsey schwarz
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I wish they would just make an agreement already. This is dragging on way too long. People need help and depend on our government during these hard times. Please extend unemployment and get those stimulus checks out! We need help now! Not next year!

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Laurie Stopyra
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If we don't receive an extended relief many people including myself will be in danger of loosing everything I own.

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Steven Ransom
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A Helping Friend In Business

With the economy dwindling amidst the coronavirus pandemic and Congress in a deadlock on the decision of a stimulus package, a bipartisan group of senators provides a ray of hope. They came up with a proposal for emergency federal relief that is worth $908 billion... Read more... But if it does not pass there will be more Jobless Benefits, Eviction Protection ...

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Sheila W
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Dept Manager at Kroger

I think that they started the "great divide" and for anyone to even think about working together again that congress "both sides" need to "show" that "all american lives matter!" Why should they be paid so well when "all the people" have to take the back stage. They need to set the B.S. aside and give us the most possible to take away all the damage that "BOTH SIDES" have felt since 2016! Me, myself will never vote again. Why bother playing their games!!! I lost my mom 4/29 my dad 5/10 and my father-in-law 11/5. Without "stimulus" and "unemployment" BASICALLY there's nothing left! So "we the people" feel the raft of the politician's b.s. and they enjoy one of their "vacation" homes. For my Christmas wish "I wish we could flip the tables and put them in our spots and ours in theirs!" Show them how we really live day to day!

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Anita McCune
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I think it’s only right for Americans to get another stimulus check especially us on a fixed income or low income.We need this please

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Debby Santiago
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With over 12 million people currently unemployed, extended unemployment benefits are a necessity to prevent dire consequences. It is of utmost importance to continue those benefits as well as the moratorium on eviction. All of the above mentioned are very important measures to prevent further destruction of our economy, and need to be addressed mainly to prevent mass homelessness and food insecurity.

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Sandra Mckinney
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Working from home

What about ppl that needs that's not unemployment right now

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James O'Hara
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Cnc Machinists at Structure Med

What about people who have exhausted their unemployment benefits? Also need renters protections.

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