The House of Representatives passed the Democrat-proposed $3 trillion HEROES Act on Friday, potentially setting up the possibility for more stimulus checks to be sent out to Americans amid the CCP virus pandemic, but the White House has threatened to veto the legislation, and Republicans in the Senate said it would not pass in the upper chamber.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democrats have rallied behind the measure. Passed in a 208-199 vote in the House, the measure seeks to provide $1,200 deposits and checks for those who are eligible, but also give $1,200 for children, instead of $500 in the CARES Act, which was signed into law in March. Up to $6,000 can be provided under the new legislation.
The HEROES Act, which also hands out more funding to state and local governments, would “make a tremendous difference not only in the budgets of the states but in the lives of the American people: their public health, the education of our children, the sanitation so important to defeating the virus, with the support of so many essential workers,” she added.
The legislation, if signed into law, 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.
Meanwhile, 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 second-round payment also would 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 would not be the case under the current iteration of the HEROES Act.
The Trump administration’s statement noted that Democrats, in the measure, want certain illegal immigrants to be eligible for the second round of $1,200 payments, a bailout of the U.S. Postal Service, and perhaps most significantly, funding vote-by-mail and same-day voter registration.
In the HEROES Act, a Social Security number would 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.
“There’s a high likelihood we’ll do another bill,” McConnell stressed.