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December 29, 2020Advocacy Matters

The 117th Congress and COVID Impact Payment Delays

Disability Matters with Joyce Bender

Tuesday, December 29, 2020



117th Congress Start Just 5 Days Away


COVID Impact Payment Delays


The 116th Congress is wrapping up its work this week just in time to swear in the 117th Congress of the United States.  The seating of the new congress is just five days away on Sunday, January 3, 2021.

A new congress is sworn in every two years following a federal election to elect members of the U.S. House of Representatives and one-third of the U.S. Senate.  A congress lasts two years.

The U.S. House schedule is out for 2021.   The Senate schedule has not yet been released.

We have a link to the 2021 House schedule on our website at  Just find our #AdvocacyMatters for today and the link will be included in our segment.

Members are still introducing legislation and trying to finish important matters like COVID relief in these last few congressional voting days.

Until the 116th Congress ends, we are unable to preview any new legislation for the 117th Congress.  We know there are important issues that will impact people with disabilities like voting reform, fighting back efforts to reduce the scope, application, enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities, education, transportation, hate crimes, racial inequality, and more COVID relief.

One important matter still outstanding that is of interest to people with disabilities is how much COVID economic impact relief will individuals now receive.  Congress had passed legislation and the President signed the recent COVID relief bill that provided $600 per individual and child up to certain income limits (AGI of $75,000 per individual/$150,000 married couple).  Democratic members, and the President, wanted to see relief checks up to $2,000 per individual.

The distribution of the COVID economic impact relief checks was to start this week; however, delays with the President’s decision on whether to sign or veto the bill had held up distribution.  Now congressional members who support a larger stimulus check have introduced legislation to increase the amount.  $600 is the law.  The federal government is now waiting to determine the final outcome of the legislative battle over how large the stimulus checks should be to the American people.

H.R. 9051, the CASH Act, received bipartisan support in the U.S. House yesterday.  The vote to pass the legislation was 275 yeas and 134 nays.  The legislation now moves to the Senate.  It was not on the Senate agenda earlier this morning.  Pundits do not know what Senator Mitch McConnel will do with the House legislation this week.  In either case, $600 is the law.  The worst-case scenario? Stimulus payments are delayed.


A few important dates for next week include:

January 3, 2021.  Members of the U.S. House of Representatives will be sworn in, vote on the Speaker of the House, and vote on the rules package for the House.

January 6, 20201.  The House will meet to ratify the votes taken by the Electoral College.  This is the final step in the process to elect Joe Biden as President of the United States.

#AdvocacyMatters.  If you want to weigh in on the stimulus payment, there is still time.  Go to and find your U.S. Senators.  You can call or email them and let them know how important an economic impact payment would be to many people with disabilities.  The website address is


Links mentioned in #AdvocacyMatters for today:

H.R. 9051

H.R. 9051, CASH Act, Roll Call 252

117th Congress, U.S. House of Representative Schedule for 2021



To find your federal elected officials, visit or