Members of the U.S. House of Representatives returned from recess to vote on the benefits, as well as funding for the U.S. Postal Service.
Members of the U.S. House of Representatives resumed activity this week to debate a vote on unemployment insurance for consumers laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Democrats proposed reinstating the $600 in extra unemployment benefits from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act while other negotiations on emergency relief are stalled, The Hill reports.
Last week, the U.S. Senate announced it was on recess until September. The U.S. House of Representatives was expected to return Sept. 14 before the debate on unemployment insurance as well as emergency funding for the U.S. Postal Service started.
Roll Call reports House leaders proposed legislation to provide the Postal Service $25 billion to cover revenue losses.
Debate is scheduled to go into the weekend on both these measures; there could be a vote on Saturday.
When the negotiations on the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act and Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools (HEALS) Act stalled, President Donald Trump announced four executive orders or moratoriums to provide economic relief, ACA International previously reported.
There was also some debate on the legal standing of the president’s executive actions, The Hill reports.
Under the president’s moratorium on continued student loan payment relief during the COVID-19 pandemic, the suspension of student loan payments as well as a 0% interest rate for loans will continue until Dec. 31, 2020. Student loan payment relief started in March under an order from the White House and it was first extended in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act through Sept. 30, 2020.
The additional unemployment insurance will be allocated through remaining dollars in the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) approved as part of the CARES Act.
According to the memorandum to extend unemployment insurance, more than $80 billion in CRF dollars remain available to supplement the billions of dollars states have received in other federal assistance. In addition, the Department of Homeland Security’s Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) has more than $70 billion in emergency assistance funding available.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will assist in providing up to $44 billion in benefits from the DRF and states are called upon to use their CRF allocation. At least $25 billion of total DRF balances will be set aside to support ongoing disaster response and recovery efforts and potential 2020 major disaster costs.
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