Whatever Congress does on stimulus, millions of workers are already screwed

Even if there’s another stimulus bill, unemployed workers are likely to see a lapse in benefits.

News Story (NATIONAL)

Emily Stewart
December 16, 2020

Tags: COVID-19, Unemployment, Unemployment Insurance

Organizations mentioned/involved: National Employment Law Project (NY)


Even if Congress gets its act together soon on a new stimulus bill — as is now expected following months of failed negotiations — it has already run out the clock, so much so that millions of unemployed workers will likely still be harmed. It turns out governance via extreme procrastination is not an ideal approach.


After months of a will-they-or-won’t-they dance that’s left workers, businesses, and much of the economy in limbo, lawmakers yet again have a potential deal: a $748 billion proposal to help boost the economy as the Covid-19 pandemic rages on. While it may have some shortcomings — Democrats dropped state and local government aid from the main bill in exchange for Republicans dropping corporate liability protections — it’s not the worst deal in the world, and it does have new payments for the unemployed.

But there is a hiccup: Even if a bill passes, millions of workers will likely face a lag in receiving those payments while the regulators and states responsible for distributing them iron out the new process.