WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - Hope is now finally on the horizon for millions of Americans who have been desperately waiting for relief as COVID-19 crisis deepens. President Donald Trump has signed the latest COVID-19 relief bill; so, what does that mean for your wallet?
Last week, Congress approved the $900 billion stimulus package, but President Trump called it a disgrace and waited nearly a week before signing it.
A professor at George Washington University says that delay is now causing some pain for Americans across the country.
"His delay actually caused some expiration of some critical programs," says GWU Legislative Affairs Program Director Dr. Casey Burgat. "Most notably the insurance benefits so those folks who were relying on those benefits will be out of those benefits for at least a week, but then they will kick back in for upwards of 11 weeks."
Here's what the COVID-19 relief bill includes:
- An extra $300 in unemployment benefits for 11 weeks
- $285 billion in loans for small businesses
- Rental protections to help people who could face evictions
- $600 direct payments for Americans who earn less than $75,000 a year
President Trump has been adamant about wanting those direct payments to increase from $600 to $2,000. FOX 5 talked to people on Capitol Hill to hear what they think should happen.
"I believe it should go up to $2,000 to help everyone get just a little help," says Rosa Vazquez. "Everybody’s suffering. A lot of people without work. A lot of things, I’ve been walking around, things are closed everywhere been to a few states and it’s sad and I just think it will help out."
"I think, especially here in D.C., the cost of living is pretty expensive so you have to give $2,000 or close to $2,000 so people can run their livelihoods easily," says Yash Modawel. "$2,000 makes more since than $600. $600 you can be like if you’re from a small town."
"I think they should be going to folks who lost their jobs. I think it’s a little strange that folks who are still working are still getting the checks, but I think there should be an increase because they should be going to folks that need them and they need more money than $600," says Rebecca Ferenchiak. "I plan to donate the money because I’m fortunate that I’m still able to work and I don’t need that additional income so I’d like to give it back to the local D.C. community."
Lawmakers in Washington will vote tonight on whether or not the direct payments will increase. It's an issue democrats agree with the president on, making it likely to pass in the House, but one that republicans mostly disagree with Trump on, making a passage in the Senate unlikely.