With well over 30 million Americans out of work due to pandemic shutdowns, lawmakers are proposing a second round of stimulus payments to provide some relief, and they could be worth more than the first wave of deposits and checks sent out in April.
The Treasury Department has said that most eligible people have received their payments, while payments to certain recipients of Supplemental Security Income started to receive deposits on Thursday. Some checks for payments still in the mail or are being mailed.
Even though the House of Representatives is slated to vote on the so-called HEROES Act on Friday, the stimulus checks are not likely to reach Americans’ bank accounts in the near future. Both the White House and the Senate have said the HEROES Act contains some useful provisions but also includes a “wish list” of sorts from Democrats and will never pass or will be vetoed by President Donald Trump.
“What Nancy Pelosi is proposing will never pass the Senate,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said Tuesday, referring to the Democratic House Speaker from California. “Republicans know what we are focused on. We’re focused on helping American families.”
What’s in the Bill
The legislation would provide another $1,200 to individuals and $2,400 for couples who file jointly on their taxes and who make less than a certain amount. Differing from the CARES Act, the new measure would provide $1,200—not $500—to dependents, up to three. It means that up to $6,000 can be provided for an eligible household, and, also unlike the CARES Act, the new bill also includes adult dependents who are not children under the age of 17.
The legislation also will extend unemployment insurance payments of $600 per week until January 2021, instead of July 2020. It will also provide unemployment benefits to other workers including part-time workers and independent contractors.
A $200 billion “Heroes Fund” will be established for front-line workers.
What’s more, it will extend the temporary suspension of student loan payments until next year.
The HEROES Act will not require recipients of payments to have a Social Security number to be eligible, and they will only need a taxpayer identification number (TIN). Those without a Social Security number could not receive the payments under the CARES Act.
Homeowners and low-income renters will also be protected from evictions and foreclosures and associated housing costs, respectively, under the bill.
President Donald Trump’s name will not appear in the checks that are sent out under the HEROES Act. In the first round of payments, Trump’s name appeared in the bottom-left portion of Treasury Checks that were mailed. Last month, some Democrats criticized the White House for including the text, although Trump told reporters at the time that it wasn’t his idea.
And also unlike the CARES Act, the new round of deposits will be protected from creditors and debt collectors.