Second stimulus check update: Unemployment checks will come on time despite Trump delay in signing bill

Posted Dec 28, 2020

President Donald Trump’s delay in signing the new coronavirus stimulus bill into law won’t hold up extended federal unemployment insurance payments to 500,000 New Jerseyans, the state Labor Department said Monday.

Trump didn’t sign the bill until Sunday, a day after federal programs offering $300 a week in unemployment benefits and providing pandemic aid to gig workers and freelancers had expired.

That led to concerns that the next unemployment next check would be delayed.

Labor Department spokesman Thomas Wright said that wouldn’t be the case.

“There will be no delay or lag for eligible claimants in the programs that were just extended,” Wright said. “We fully expect to see due payments reach debit cards and bank accounts as expected.”

Claimants still will have to certify their eligibility for benefits every week.

The stimulus bill extended both programs through March 14.

At his coronavirus briefing Monday, Gov. Phil Murphy said there was no need for the delay in the first place. Trump had held off signing the bill for almost a week after demanding that Congress increase the stimulus payments to $2,000 from $600.

“I agree with the president and congressional Democrats that more stimulus was and remains needed, but this was the wrong way to go about it,” Murphy said. “For many families across New Jersey, this delay was a failure. This bill should’ve been signed immediately as a down payment, and further assistance taken up – and, hopefully, it will be.”

Murphy and New Jersey Democratic House members had initially indicated that claimants could lose a payment, but that changed later in the day.

As for the $600 stimulus checks, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC Dec. 21 after Congress passed the legislation that the first payments should be distributed in about a week.

Now that Trump signed the bill, the department was rushing to get the first checks out, possibly by the end of the week, according to the Washington Post.

The House plans to consider and vote on legislation Monday to increase the payments to $2,000. A Democratic effort to quickly pass the measure without debate or a vote the preceding Thursday was blocked by House Republicans.

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published this page in News and Politics 2020-12-29 03:26:03 -0800
published this page in News and Politics 2020-12-29 03:25:59 -0800