As House Democrats are gearing up to vote on a COVID-19 stimulus package this week, it could mean that more direct deposits and checks will be mailed out to millions of Americans.
Should the legislation clear the House hurdle, top GOP Senators have suggested that the bill in its current form will not be passed in the upper chamber. The measure is being proposed as millions of people lost work as businesses shutter amid the (CCP) Chinese Communist Party virus pandemic.
The HEROES Act calls for $1,200 for each eligible American and about $2,400 for married couples filing joint returns. However, those who have dependents will receive more funding: for each, an additional $1,200 will be doled out, up to $6,000 per household. Under the CARES Act passed and signed into law in March, the IRS sent out payments of $500 for children up to age 16.
The proposal would also extend a $600-per-week boost in unemployment insurance that was established under the CARES Act, expiring in January 2021, in an attempt to help more than 30 million Americans who lost their jobs amid the pandemic.
Homeowners and low-income renters will also be protected from evictions and foreclosures and associated housing costs, respectively, under the bill.
On top of that, the current student loan payment plans established in the CARES Act would be extended, and the new bill would provide up to $10,000 in debt relief for a private student loan.
The legislation would also create a $200 billion “Heroes’ Fund” to ensure that essential workers get hazard pay, and their employers will be able to apply for grants to provide $13 per hour on top of regular wages. Another $850 million will be provided to states to provide family and child care to essential workers, as well as other safeguards.
Other provisions include election security, U.S. Postal Service assistance, and more aid to farmers.
As with the CARES Act, nonresident aliens would not qualify for a second-round stimulus check. A nonresident alien is someone who isn’t an American citizen, doesn’t have a green card, and isn’t physically present in the United States for a period of time.
But a Social Security number will not be required to get a payment if the measure is signed into law—one would only need a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) to receive the funds, essentially allowing some people who aren’t U.S. citizens and who cannot get a Social Security number to get the payment.
The second-round payment also will not be garnished by creditors or debt collectors, which is in contrast to the CARES Act, which does not offer such protections. The IRS, in the first round stimulus payment, could use some of that money to pay back past-due child support, which will not be the case under the current iteration of the HEROES Act.
President Donald Trump’s name also will not appear in the second round of checks that are sent out. Trump’s name appeared in the bottom-left portion of Treasury Checks that were doled out starting in mid-April under the CARES Act.
The House is scheduled to vote on the bill Friday.
Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), a member of the GOP’s leadership in the Senate, warned that the HEROES Act won’t survive.
“That will not pass. It’s not going to be supported,” he told CNN on Tuesday. Other Republicans, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), echoed his assertions.
But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the legislation is not a “wish list for the future.”