Jobcase Team
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Posted December 5, 2020

Congress to compromise on new relief bill. What's being negotiated?

Members of congress seem positive and confident after their first week of debating a new relief bill, but what's in it and what are they compromising on?
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Congress to compromise on new relief bill. What's being negotiated?
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After one week of renewed negotiations, members of congress are expressing confidence in their current progress toward delivering a pandemic relief bill in 2020. The road to a second relief package for Americans has been fraught, with opposing sides of congress unwilling to compromise on key issues for them, but now it seems like both sides are ready to collaborate seriously in order to pass a relief bill before 2021.

So what are the aspects of a relief bill that are being discussed now, and what’s inspiring congress to collaborate in ways they haven’t before?

What have members of congress disagreed on?

With one week left to negotiate a new relief bill that would become active before 2020 ends, members of congress have had to accept compromises on a number of key issues when negotiating. Here are some of the stumbling blocks they’re attempting to smooth over that could affect how you’re supported by the next relief bill.

The overall cost of a new relief bill

What’s the debate?

This debate has dogged #coronavirus relief bill discussions since the beginning of the pandemic. Some members of congress think that offering financial relief to a majority of Americans should be the goal of a new relief bill, whereas others would rather have a bill that targets the parts of society that most need relief in order to keep costs lower. The inability to compromise on both sides has led to a delay for American citizens in seeing a new relief bill pass House and Senate votes.

Where are compromises happening?

With time ticking, both sides of the cost debate have seemed willing to relax their stances in order to reach a relief bill that represents a middle ground between, (on the low end) a $500 million price tag and, (on the high end) a $2 trillion price tag. At nearly $1 trillion, the current proposed bill represents a worthy compromise for both sides.

What does this mean for me?

A lower cost bill means less government spending, which supporters of a restrained relief bill say would save federal funds and could contribute to a lower tax burden for citizens down the line. A more costly, yet more comprehensive relief bill would provide more financial assistance to citizens and organizations that need money now to stay afloat, however, which proponents of a larger bill say is a more pressing need in the short term.

The potential affect this debate has on you as an individual boils down to whether you need federal funds now in order to survive. If you do, you’d be more likely to support a larger bill. However, if you have tended to be financially stable during the pandemic you may worry about how this federal spending will impact your tax burden in years to come.

The programs included in the new relief bill

What’s the debate?

Aside from the cost of a new relief bill, some members of congress disagree on which specific programs should receive funding. Some members of congress think programs that most directly benefit citizens (like the widely popular stimulus payment) should take precedence over measures to protect institutions and corporations, while others believe the opposite to be true.

While all members of congress tend to agree that both tactics have benefits for Americans, their opinions on which tactic (individual or institutional support) is more effective have impacted their ability to agree on how to prioritize funding within the relief proposals they’re trying to build.

Where are compromises happening?

Members of congress are now making extensive compromises on either side in an attempt to draw the most funding to the programs they think will have the most overall impact on the American economy.

The newest proposed relief bill, for instance, does not include funding for a direct stimulus payment to individuals and families in order to to preserve costs within the current budget for other relief programs.

What does this mean for me?

Individuals who have been counting on a stimulus payment before the end of this year will likely have to wait until 2021 to see if that program will be renewed by the next administration. While a new stimulus payment in 2020 is highly unlikely, programs that are likely to be included in the next relief bill are:

  • Extended unemployment benefits (most likely)
  • The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) small business loan funding (most likely)
  • Eviction protection for renters (likely)
  • Federal loan forbearance for mortgages (somewhat likely)
  • Federal student loan payment and interest freeze (somewhat likely)

If the renewal of any of these programs would lighten your financial burden, you’ll want to track the progress of the next relief bill as it’s being negotiated and entering House and Senate votes in the near future.

What has inspired congress to collaborate?

In short, time is running out for Americans in need. With COVID-19 cases on the rise again and many Americans facing financial ruin, congress has attempted to come back to negotiations with renewed focus and an increased tolerance for compromise.

Members of congress understand that if another bill isn’t passed soon, the American people will suffer immeasurably as a result. In the words of a joint statement released by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer “...the need to act is immediate and we believe that with good-faith negotiations we could come to an agreement. and in the words of Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell “Compromise is within reach. We know where we agree. We can do this.”


Do you think congress will compromise enough to produce a relief bill before 2021?

Share your take on the recent discussions in the comments below.

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Ken Spraker

If it affected them directly I'm sure things would happen quickly but since it doesn't we won't see any relief till next year.

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Damon Terrell

yes they cannot let people go into Christmas not knowing if they're going to have food on their table or not they were saying the house and sent it to me so much turmoil they just can't do it it has to pass

51w
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Mike Vagnoni

Terrible!

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Sandra Brodersen

Seriously people need help yesterday!!!!!! No stimulus? Ridiculous!!!! Money and unemployment will directly benefit those that are struggling the most.

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Robert Chambers

We need a second stimulus bigger than the last one.two many people are being laid off work. And spend back into the economy and pay their bills.Because house and car notes are not waiting to get a job.

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Vivian French

Government is just trying to keep money out of people of the USA but they can send money to other countries. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE. AMERICANS are suffering because of their ineffectiveness to do ANYTHING

51w
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Vivian French

I don't believe it they keep us hanging while their pockets are getting fatter

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gteef cccdgf

they are making it worse

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penny ross

I agree that we need a larger check and soon, I am still unemployed and have not found a job. The bills keep coming and the unemployment has not been extended.

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1
symeon Hatziioannidis

Yes

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