By: Evie Fordham
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced one-time $1,200 stimulus payments for some Washington, D.C., residents financially affected by the coronavirus pandemic during a press conference on Monday.
>>"We will invest a portion of our CARES Act [funding] to provide a round of local stimulus," Bowser said. "With Pandemic Unemployment Assistance set to expire at the end of this month, D.C. government will be providing … a $1,200 one-time stimulus payment to unemployed Washingtonians who are not eligible for additional unemployment and have been participating in the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program as of Nov. 30."
Washington, D.C., had an unemployment rate of 8.2% in October, according to preliminary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
>>"We estimate that we can reach about 20,000 Washingtonians with these payments," Bowser said, adding that the payments will help individuals who are not eligible for traditional unemployment insurance, such as residents who are self-employed, independent contractors or gig workers.
Other cities, including St. Paul and Pittsburgh, have also decided to experiment with direct payments to residents amid the economic uncertainty of the pandemic.
Bowser's announcement comes after politicians on both the left and the right have called for an additional round of stimulus checks for American families. Lawmakers, including Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., have pushed back against the $908 billion coronavirus relief framework that a bipartisan group of senators unveiled last week because it does not include a second round of $1,200 stimulus checks.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance will expire on Dec. 26.