States mull their own coronavirus stimulus packages as D.C. talks stall
Several states are intervening to provide economic relief for their residents, filling the void left by the federal government.
Colorado, Minnesota, New Mexico and Washington are among the states proposing smaller economic aid packages to help families and businesses in trouble while talks in Congress stall.
Your efforts are the last remaining help from the CARES Act, and the executive's actions expire at the end of the year.
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"New Mexicans hurt, and with no further federal economic relief in sight, we must take action now," said Democrat Peter Wirth, majority leader of the New Mexico Senate, in a statement. "Supporting our small businesses, supporting unemployment benefits to help displaced people, and relieving people struggling with food and housing are priorities that lawmakers strongly support."
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden is greeted by Minnesota Governor Tim Walz as he arrives for an unscheduled stop of the outside campaign after an event in Duluth, Minnesota, U.S., on September 18, 2020. REUTERS / Jonathan Ernst
States are proposing various measures, including a one-time emergency payment similar to the CARES stimulus check, extending unemployment insurance for an additional 13 weeks, small business grant programs, and housing and rental support.
Some plan to vote on reusing federal funds from the CARES bill while others are trying to raise money from government revenues. The states are calling for special meetings to vote on the measures in the coming weeks.
"I don't think we're going to wait an extra day," Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, a Republican, told a news conference Tuesday. "The sooner we do it and the sooner we give these families security, the better."
"The failure of this congress"
The urge of the states for more relief comes from the fact that the business talks stalled before the elections and the two parties have not returned to negotiate an economic stimulus package.
"The actions of these four states show the failure of this Congress, the Senate and the current administration," Gbenga Ajilore, senior economist at the Center for American Progress, a nonprofit public policy research and advocacy organization, told Yahoo Money. “From the summer a relief was necessary that should have lasted until the end of the pandemic. The fact that the only federal measure we saw was the CARES bill passed in March and nothing since then is shameful. "
Both the Unemployment Pandemic Support Program (PUA) and the Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Program (PEUC) expire on December 26, unless Congress enters into a business cycle agreement.
If an agreement is not reached by the end of the year, many aid provisions will expire, including some unemployment benefits, eviction moratorium, student loan leniency programs, and others, leaving Americans - especially those who remain unemployed - limited government support this winter.
Up to 12 million Americans are expected to lose unemployment benefit coverage when the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs expire.
Read more: How to apply for unemployment insurance
Prior to the election, the two parties came up with the price tag of a new deal with spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA) recent proposal of $ 2.2 trillion and the White House proposal of nearly $ 1.9 trillion -Dollars close. But the Senate Republicans - who are probably negotiating now - are supporting something much smaller.
The latest proposal from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was valued at just $ 500 billion, opening a large funding gap between the two parties.
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