Home / US / The $ 2.2 trillion HEROES Act would provide a second round of stimulus checks

The $ 2.2 trillion HEROES Act would provide a second round of stimulus checks

The House Democrats’ revised stimulus law would restore some popular programs designed to help families overcome the coronavirus pandemic. First of all: $ 1,200 for adult stimulus allowances for low- and middle-income families.

Democratic lawmakers introduced the measure ahead of negotiations with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. In a statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the bill reflects a package that is $ 1.2 trillion less than the Democrats’ original HEROES Act in May, which failed to advance amid opposition from republicans. The new bill is called the updated HEROES Act, which stands for Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act.

The new bill would also restore $ 600 in extra-weekly unemployment benefits, which until the July deadline provided a lifeline to tens of millions of adults who lost their jobs when the pandemic crippled the economy in March. .

Although the nation̵

7;s unemployment rate fell to 8.4% in August from a high of 14.7% in April, more than 21 million workers remain unemployed or out of the workforce as a result of the pandemic, according to an estimate by the ‘Economic Policy Institute.

Reinstating the additional $ 600 in weekly federal unemployment benefits would provide a fundamental increase in income, “especially for beneficiaries in states where unemployment benefits are limited to under-poverty levels,” said Rebecca Dixon, director executive of the National Employment Law Project, via email.

However, the chances of approving the bill remain long. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters Thursday that the Democrats and the Trump administration they were still very far away on issues such as funding for state and local governments. There is “a distinct difference not just in dollars, but in values,” he added.

A push to get the bill to a vote this week would have little chance of success, with analysts at Heights Securities only giving it a small chance to provide an election stimulus ahead of the November 3 presidential election. But the ongoing negotiations between Democrats and Mnuchin may suggest the bill is gaining ground, analysts noted.

The House is likely to vote on the relief bill on Thursday, signaling that prospects for a Democrat-White House deal could fade. Even if the bill doesn’t progress, however, the legislation could become the basis for another round of stimulus if Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wins the White House and the Democrats take control of the Senate.

Who would get a stimulus check?

A second stimulus payment would mirror the initial round of screening, which was cleared in March by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act.

  • Individual taxpayers with incomes up to $ 75,000 would receive $ 1,200.
  • Married taxpayers with incomes up to $ 150,000 would receive $ 2,400.
  • An additional $ 500 for each employee.

As with the first round, taxpayers would see their payments reduced if they earn above those limits, phasing out $ 99,000 for single taxpayers and $ 198,000 for married couples.

An important change is how the updated stimulus law treats employees. In the first round, only children under the age of 17 received payments of $ 500 and dependent adults – people over the age of 17 – were excluded. This meant that older high school students and college students declared dependent on their parents’ tax returns did not qualify for the $ 500 checks.

The HEROES Act update specifies that any employee, regardless of age, will qualify for the $ 500.

$ 600 in unemployment benefits

The bill would also restore the $ 600 in extra weekly unemployment benefits, originally set by the CARES Act until July, when they expired.

The extra payments would be retroactive from September 6 and continue until January 31, providing more than four months of additional jobless aid to millions of families.

Currently, many states are providing an additional $ 300 in direct jobless aid from President Donald Trump through an August executive order. The government agency that oversees these benefits does guaranteed for six weeks of payments. Eight states have already exhausted that advantage, according to UnemploymentPUA.com, which follows the program.

The average weekly unemployment benefit is about $ 333, or about $ 1,300 per month. Experts say that in most regions it is not enough to pay for basic things like rent, groceries and utilities.

Childcare, meal vouchers

The legislation includes spending on other programs designed to help families, such as a proposal to spend $ 225 billion on education, including $ 182 billion on schools from kindergarten through 12th grade and $ 57 billion on education. childcare.

The updated HEROES bill would increase maximum meal voucher benefit by 15%, a measure supported by hunger advocates.

New census data shows that “23 million adults reported that their family sometimes or often did not eat enough, a marked increase from a similar survey in 2019,” said Robert Greenstein, president of the Center on Budget and Political priorities, in a statement. “Children are particularly badly affected. Families with children are more likely to report difficulties in providing food and rent, which subjects children to severe difficulties that research shows may have long-lasting negative impacts.”

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