DC Mayor Muriel Bowser will provide $1,200 stimulus checks to eligible residents as Congress stalls

Muriel Bowser 6
Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.

  • Some residents of the nation’s capital will be eligible for a $1,200 stimulus check, Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Monday.
  • The one time checks will go to people who already qualify for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, a federal program set to expire on Dec. 31.
  • PUA’s looming expiration is one of the main reasons proponents of stimulus checks have called for their return, particularly since it covers gig workers and others normally not eligible for state-level unemployment programs.
  • Bowser said around 20,000 D.C. residents will be eligible for the new checks.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A new round of stimulus checks is coming for Washington D.C. residents, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Monday.

Congress has yet to move on a new round of stimulus spending, and the return of $1,200 checks remains unlikely because of renewed deficit concerns among Republicans.

Bowser said around 20,000 Washingtonians will be eligible for the direct payments.

Eligibility for the D.C. stimulus checks mirrors that of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which is set to expire on Dec. 31.

Also known as PUA, the program is tailored toward people who normally wouldn’t qualify for unemployment insurance at the state level. Those include gig workers, independent contractors, people with a limited work history and self-employed Americans.

To receive the check, a D.C. resident would need to have applied for PUA by Nov. 30.

“This stimulus payment will be made to D.C. residents currently receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance,” Bowser said during a press conference Monday.

“It has been a while since we talked about this,” she added when noting who would qualify for the PUA program.

Bowser’s move presents a stark contrast between her willingness to act at the local level compared to members of Congress in her city. 

A compromise package of under $1 trillion is in the works on Capitol Hill, with Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly open to passing it.

Otherwise, McConnell has been adamant that any new relief needs to be limited and not as expensive as the $2.2 trillion CARES Act from back in March.

Direct payments could be back on the table once President-elect Joe Biden takes office on Jan. 20, but the scope of any subsequent stimulus package remains unclear until Congress gets around to the new one in the lame duck session until then.

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