Why should the Biden Administration have the stimulus bill signed into law by March 14 and not later?
If legislation for the new $1.9 billion stimulus package that includes $1,400 checks is not signed by President Joe Biden by March 14, millions of recipients will go without the extra weekly unemployment benefits approved in December.
The second $900 billion stimulus bill extended the weekly benefit to $300 a week until that date. Thereafter, benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs will begin to expire with the full benefits ending by early April in some cases.
According to a report by The Century Foundation, some 4 million people receiving subsidies under these programs will no longer receive them as of mid-May, while payments for another 7.3 million will expire in the next 4 weeks.
This puts more pressure on Democrats in the U.S. Congress who are seeking to pass the Senate bill by the end of the week so that it can go to the President’s desk.
The most current House schedule calls for the House to take up the “American Bailout Plan” on Wednesday, following its passage in the Senate on Saturday.
Under the legislation, the weekly extension of unemployment assistance will be maintained at $300, and will last until September 6.
Initially, the figure contemplated by Democrats was $400 per week, but over the objection of the more conservative Senate Democrats, the bill was amended to limit payments to $300.
The two temporary unemployment programs were initially passed as part of the Coronavirus Assistance, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in March, and, subsequently, extended for 11 weeks under the second stimulus package named the Coronavirus Relief and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021.