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Stimulus Pack: 10 Key Points in the Bill That Could Hit You



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The next steps of the government are still in the air. What happens next can affect you. Sarah Tew / CNET

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Hopefully, when the Senate returns from recess on September 8, talks will officially resume to approve a new economic stimulus package . Millions of Americans are facing an uncertain future full of financial troubles, without the relief that further legislation could bring. The CDC issued a new eviction notice to protect tenants until the end of 2020, but improved unemployment benefits have not recovered since they were allowed to expire on July 31. A new Gallup poll found that 70% of the 5,000 bipartisan respondents support a second stimulus check for qualified Americans . It can be worth to $ 1,200 per adult.

Republican leaders want to spend a trillion dollars or even dramatically less on the stimulus package, which the Democrats say is far too low. In fact, the two sides remain about a trillion dollars apart in their minds, even after Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke on the phone Wednesday. A compromise is still possible, but the two sides have yet to find a middle ground.

Looking ahead, the government could enact more executive actions in an attempt to bypass Congress if the Senate is unable to pass a larger package or a reduced $ 500 billion & # 39 ; skinny & # 39; law expected to be revealed next week. This is how all these scenarios can affect you. Check out this story for regular updates.

1. The New Eviction Moratorium

What It Is : On September 1, the Trump administration under the banner of the CDC issued a nationwide order to temporarily halt the eviction of millions of US tenants, in the hope of spreading COVID -19 . The order will cover all 43 million US residential tenants, as long as they meet certain requirements, and will run through December 31.

How It Might Help You : To qualify for the CDC's deferral moratorium, you shouldn't expect to earn more than $ 99,000 this year (or $ 198,000 for joint filers). You are also eligible if you did not declare any income in 2019 or received an incentive check earlier this year. You must demonstrate that you have sought government assistance to pay rent, declare that you cannot afford rent due to COVID-19 hardships and that you are likely to become homeless if you are deported. However, it is important to note that the injunction does not set aside new federal funding for tenants – even if tenants cannot be evicted, they will eventually owe that rent, along with any late fees, penalties, or interest. And in the meantime, landlords can have a tough time without that tenant income. Tenants can also be evicted for reasons other than not paying their rent.

Where it stands now : While some states previously had eviction protection, the CDC moratorium is now in effect nationally and lasts through December 31st. A future incentive law may still provide financial support for tenants and for landlords dealing with foreclosure.

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The HEALS Act proposes to give eligible Americans the same incentive payment as was issued in March.


James Martin / CNET

2. Funding for the US Postal Service and Postal Voting

What It Is : Ensuring that the US Postal Service can handle the wave of mail-in ballots this fall due to the pandemic is considered critical. The Democratic-backed Heroes Act passed by Parliament in May designated $ 25 billion to replace "lost revenue due to the coronavirus." Under the Republican-backed HEALS Act there is no additional money for the USPS. So far, President Donald Trump has opposed funding. The House passed a separate USPS financing package on August 22 but it was not picked up by the Senate, which is on hiatus until September 8.

There is concern about how successful ] postal voting will be. The New York Times reported that voters in 35 states can request ballots so close to Election Day that there may not be enough time to return them and make them count.

How It Could Help You : The money is intended to help the postal service "continue to meet delivery standards during the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic," which, in addition to meeting the needs of Quarantined people, more importantly, could be with more ballots by mail.

Why It's in the Air : At this point, both sides seem to be using funding as a negotiating chip for the larger stimulus package. And now the question is stuck in the wider controversy of changes to the postal service .

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3. Funding to Help Schools Reopen Safely as Cases Increase

What It Is : Funding would help schools fund more coronavirus testing, surface sterilization, and other measures needed to prevent the spread of disease among students and teachers. Since schools opened through August, data from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association shows that the number of cases in children increased 21% from Aug. 6 to Aug. 20.

How it could help u : More money for schools could mean more resources for adapting education to the pandemic.

How Much Money Is Being Discussed : Under the Heroes proposal, there would be $ 58 billion for classes K-12 and $ 42 billion for higher education. The HEALS Act called for $ 70 billion to attend elementary schools open to in-person tuition, $ 29 billion for higher education, $ 1 billion for the Bureau of Indian Education, and $ 5 billion at the discretion of the states.

Why We Think It Will Succeed : Both sides agree that funding is needed to support schools, but whether it gets caught up in details about personal learning or something else remains to be seen.

4. Comprehensive Unemployment Benefits for the Unemployed

What It Is : A supplementary weekly check for people who have claimed or already received unemployment unemployment for the first time. The CARES Act provided for an additional $ 600 per week, but that benefit officially expired on July 31 . Lawmakers on both sides have said they want to revamp this.

How It Might Help You : An extra weekly benefit on top of regular unemployment benefits gives individuals and families an edge. Cutting it or reducing it can be devastating to unemployed workers and the economy.

What Trump's Memorandum Delivered : The President issued an executive action on August 8 to create a program to provide $ 400 per week, with a (retroactive) start date of August 1 , calling for it to end when the program "reaches $ 25 billion or for weeks of unemployment ending no later than December 6, 2020, whichever occurs first." The plan requires states to shoulder some of the costs, and some governors say the plan doesn't go far enough. There's also a question of how many people it can realistically cover, given the $ 25 billion limit.

Where the negotiations took place : Republicans support the extension, but at a reduced rate. Democrats support a resumption of the now-expired $ 600 rate and have objected to the Senate's proposal that benefits would expand based on 70-75% of lost wages, starting at $ 200 a week and over time going up to $ 500 a week with state aid. The benefits expired without a short-term extension.

5. A second incentive payment to drive spending

What It Is : A payment sent to eligible persons and families, based on annual income, age, number of dependents and other factors. The first incentive payment allowed under the CARES Act has been sent to more than 160 million Americans – as a check, prepaid credit card, or direct deposit. But there have been problems, and months later some are still waiting for their stimulus payment .

How It Might Help You : The payment is not taxable and you can use it however you want – to pay for food, housing, clothing and so on. The idea is that people who spend money help the economy recover faster.

Why We Think a Second Payment Will Succeed : The CARES Act allowed payments of up to $ 1,200 per eligible adult and so did the $ 1 trillion HEALS Act. The House of Representatives' Hero Act of $ 3 trillion also called for $ 1,200 in stimulus payments, but for more people. The White House is backing another round of checks, making it likely that sending payments will be part of the final bill. Money-dollar-recession-scissors-budget-loss-3711 “/>

A tax credit could encourage employers to keep employees. Angela Lang / CNET

6. Liability Protection Against Coronavirus Lawsuits

What It Is : Under the HEALS Act, employers, schools, and health care providers would be protected by limiting coronavirus exposure lawsuits, other than negligence, for example.

How It Might Help You u : If you belong to that category of employers, caregivers, or schools, it can help you stay out of court.

Why It's in the Air : Senate Leader Mitch McConnell has said protection is a must-have. Pelosi, on the other hand, doesn't think so.

7. Pay Protection Program Designed to Help Small Businesses Retain Employees

What It Is : The Pay Protection Program is designed to help you keep your job and provides forgiving loans to small businesses as an incentive to keep employees on the payroll.

How It Might Help You : The PPP is designed to encourage companies to continue hiring workers who would otherwise have lost their jobs during the pandemic. The program got off to a rocky start and it is not clear that the PPP has achieved the goals set by Congress.

Why We Think It Can Be Expanded : The Republican bill will target the hardest hit small businesses, said Senator Susan Collins of Maine during the bill's rollout . This also applies to those with a revenue loss of 50% or more compared to last year.

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Incentives to keep jobs could be part of a new incentive law. Angela Lang / CNET

8. Employee retention tax credit could help companies cover employee wages

What It Is : The program allows an employer to receive refundable tax credits on the wages paid to an employee during the pandemic. The employer can then use the credits to deduct from – and even get a refund for – taxes that he owes.

How It Could Help You : Again, it is not a direct payment to workers, but the program encourages companies to keep workers on the payroll.

Why We Think It Could Happen : The HEALS Act includes further tax breaks for companies hiring and re-hiring, and the Democratic-backed Heroes Act also builds on the tax cuts that were part of the original CARES Act. And there is even more support for two parties.

9. Return to Work Payment of up to $ 450 per week

What It Is : A temporary weekly bonus for unemployed workers who get a new job or are rehired, in addition to their wages. As suggested by Senator Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio, the bonus would be $ 450 per week.

How It Might Help You : According to Portman's plan, the weekly bonus would go to laid-off workers who return to work.

Why We Think It May Not Happen : The White House showed interest in the bonus in May and Portman continues to support the idea, but it is not part of McConnell and other Republicans' proposal. senators presented.

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Any eviction protection has expired at the federal level.


John Moore / Getty

10. What will happen to Trump's payroll tax cut?

What It Is : For months, the president has been pushing the idea of ​​including temporary payroll tax cuts in the next stimulus package. Another directive he signed earlier this month includes postponing certain taxes retroactively from August 1 through December for people making less than $ 100,000.

How It Could Help You : If you have a job, a reduction in payroll taxes would temporarily allow you to keep more of your income from each salary. Employees and employers would still have to pay those taxes the following year in addition to that year's taxes. The plan would not help those who are unemployed and receive no paycheck.

Will it stay? Trump signed a memorandum on August 8 to implement the payroll tax cut, but it is not clear whether he has the legal right to do so. Typically, financial decisions, such as tax cuts, are authorized by a vote in Congress, not a presidential order. We will have to wait and see if legal action is taken against the order. Neither the proposed Heroes Law nor the Senate plan includes a reduction in payroll taxes. US industry trade groups say the tax cuts could be "unworkable."

Until we know for sure what the final stimulus law will deliver, there are some means to get you through the financial crisis. We look at loans against coronavirus and unemployment insurance ; What You Can Do If You Lost Your Job ; what to know about evictions and late car payments ; how to get control over your budget ; and if you could receive two cashback checks from the IRS .

Julie Snyder contributed to this story.


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