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Millions of unemployed self-employed and independent contractors, as well as long-term unemployed American people, they will lose their unemployment benefits after this weekend if the president Donald trump it does not sign the $ 900 billion (Australian $ 1.1 billion) aid package that Congress approved earlier this week.

Additionally, all laid off workers could lose a week of the federal $ 300 ($ AUD400) pay increase if the president does not sign the bill by midnight Saturday (4 pm AEDT).

People take photos with the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree in New York on Christmas Day, Friday, December 25, 2020. The coronavirus changed Christmas traditions, but determination and imagination made the day special for many . (AP Photo / Seth Wenig) (AP)

But after staying on the sidelines during negotiations, Trump came up with a last-minute complaint that a separate provision in the deal, which the president’s own White House helped negotiate, would only provide up to $ 600 ($ AUD 800) in payments. direct.

Trump now wants to send checks for $ 2,000 ($ AUD2600).

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took advantage of Trump’s request for $ 2,000 checks and took to the floor a separate bill that would have increased the amount of aid checks Thursday.

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump walk to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

House Republicans, however, opposed the bill over deficit concerns.

The standoff comes as millions of Americans face financial difficulties, including difficulty paying for food and shelter, brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Unemployment benefits run out

Starlings fly over the White House as the National Christmas Tree glows with lights on the Ellipse on Christmas Eve in Washington. (AP)

More than 12 million laid-off Americans are estimated to receive their final unemployment pay for the week ending this weekend, according to The Century Foundation.

Those affected are part of the historic expansion of the nation’s unemployment system that Congress enacted as part of the $ 2 trillion CARES Act in late March.

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program allows independent contractors, freelancers, freelancers, and concert workers to qualify for payments.

Marine One, with President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump aboard, takes off from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, en route to Andrews Air Force Base and then to Florida. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

It also opens the program to those unable to work due to the pandemic, even if they or their family members are ill or in quarantine or if their children’s schools are closed.

And the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program provides an additional 13 weeks of benefits paid at the federal level to those who are left without state payments, typically lasting 26 weeks. The programs technically expire on December 31.

The third measure of the CARES Act – an additional $ 600 per week in federal payments – expired at the end of July.

The new aid package extends the two pandemic programs by up to 11 weeks.

President Donald Trump’s caravan arrives at Trump International Golf Club on Christmas Eve in West Palm Beach, Florida. (AP Photo / Patrick Semansky)

Each would be closed for new applicants on March 14, but would continue until April 5 for existing applicants who have not yet reached the 50-week maximum.

If Trump signs the latest aid package on Saturday, the unemployed are likely to still experience a multi-week break in payments as state agencies reprogram the package’s provisions on their computers.

But the benefits would be retroactive until the end of December.

Employee Grayson Allred walks away with a ladder after working on the front marquee of the Paramount Theater on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, in Abilene, Texas. The marquee, which in part reads, “It’s a Wonderful Life, Canceled,” notifies all prospective customers that the theater has closed indefinitely due to the increase in COVID-19 cases in the city. (AP)

However, states cannot provide payments during the weeks that begin before the invoice is signed.

So if Trump does not act on Saturday, those in these two programs would not receive benefits during the last week of the year, although they will likely still get the full 11-week extension, said Michele Evermore, a senior policy analyst at the National. Draft Employment Law.

But the weekly push of $ 300 for all unemployed Americans only runs through March 14, so it would likely be shortened by at least a week.

More trouble is on the horizon if Trump continues to let the legislation sit on his desk.

An order from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stopping some evictions is set to expire at the end of the year.

Since the order does not cancel or freeze the rent, all of the tenant’s back rent will expire on January 1 if the moratorium is allowed to expire.

A brochure describing unemployment benefits in North Andover, Massachutssets (AP)

Without rent relief or an extension of protection, many distressed tenants will face eviction again.

An estimated 9.2 million tenants who have lost income from work during the pandemic are behind with their rent, or 23% of those tenants, according to an analysis of Census Bureau data by the Priority Center. budgetary and political.

The relief package would extend protection against eviction through Jan.31 and provide $ 25 billion in rental assistance for those who lost their sources of income during the pandemic.

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