Stimulus and unemployment: Democrats abandon a great Covid-19 relief idea
Maybe early in the pandemic, you first postponed your 2020 vacation to July, and then from July to March. Now, you know you should just wait and see, but you can’t help yourself and went ahead and booked for August.
That’s basically what Congress has been doing with economic aid such as unemployment insurance during the Covid-19 outbreak. Federal lawmakers have been picking arbitrary end dates for much-needed support, more or less guessing at the end of the pandemic for nearly a year. And it appears that in the latest relief package, set to pass Congress in the coming weeks, they’re about to make the same mistake again: Instead of phasing out benefits when the economy gets better, Congress is setting up yet another cliff later this year.
Congress has made important changes to the unemployment system to respond to the pandemic: Initially, it added $600 in federal weekly unemployment benefits through the end of July 2020; that dried up for a while but was reinstated at the end of December, this time adding $300 a week through March 14. …
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