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Congress debates a larger stimulus payment
Last updated: September 24, 2022
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Congress debates a larger stimulus payment
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One of the most hotly debated items in the newly passed stimulus bill was the inclusion of a $600 pandemic relief payment for individuals and families. Many believe that a $600 check, half the amount of the previously disbursed check, does not offer sufficient relief to American workers who are struggling more than ever as the #coronavirus pandemic continues to impact industries and public health.

This week has been one of rapid change and action as congress attempts to finalize pandemic relief plans for Americans. Here’s what to be aware of in order to make sense of what’s happening in the debate to raise pandemic relief payments.

What is the CASH Act?

On December 28th 2020, just one day after the president signed the new stimulus bill, the House of Representatives voted on and passed a standalone bill called the Caring for Americans with Supplemental Help Act of 2020 or CASH Act in order to increase the amount of pandemic relief checks for qualified individuals from $600 to $2,000. Supporters of the CASH Act argue that this measure offers more substantial support to qualifying Americans than the original $600 would.

How much could Americans receive through The CASH Act?

Here’s a breakdown of how much Americans could make if the CASH Act is passed. Payment amounts will be calculated based upon previously reported tax income.

  • For individuals making up to $75k per year: $2,000
  • For heads-of-household making up to $112.5k per year: $2,000
  • For married couples filing taxes jointly making (combined) up to $150k per year: $4,000
  • For eligible dependents of families making up to $150k per year: $600
  • For eligible dependents of heads-of-household making up to $112.5k per year: $600

Individuals, couples or families making over $75k (for individuals), $112.5k (for heads-of-household) or $150k (for couples and families) will receive a variably reduced pandemic relief payment based on how high their previously reported income is.

Want more stimulus information? 

Opposition and delays in the Senate

Even though the CASH Act has been approved by the House of Representatives, it still needs to pass a vote in the Senate and be signed by the president in order to be fully ratified. When considering the Senate, there are still considerable obstacles to passing the CASH Act and these challenges and complications could delay or prevent a $2k relief check from making its way to citizens.

A budget-conscious Senate suspicious of new spending

Even though the standalone bill has passed a House vote, the CASH Act must now pass a vote in the Senate. Though the requirements are the same, many in the Senate haven’t historically supported more government spending in pandemic relief efforts. The estimated $464 billion price tag for the CASH Act may dissuade senate members from voting in favor of the bill, especially since it’s coming to a vote just after the passing of another costly bill.

A delayed Senate vote

On December 29th 2020, an attempt to hold a Senate vote on the CASH Act was rejected by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. McConnell opted to instead push the vote to later in the week. This move has been met with considerable backlash from supporters of the CASH Act, who believe that time is of the essence to expedite larger payments to Americans.

An alternative $2k relief payment bill proposed

In addition to delaying the CASH Act, McConnell has proposed an alternative bill for a vote in the Senate. The currently untitled bill would include the same measures as the CASH Act to increase the amount of pandemic relief payments to $2k however it will also add-on two other initiatives that are unrelated to pandemic relief. The two added initiatives in McConnell’s version will, in summary:

  • Disallow the dismantling of certain Confederate monuments.
  • Make tech/social media companies more legally liable for the actions of their users.

Members of congress who support larger payments, but do not support the additions in this bill have accused McConnell of trying to sow political division in order to block more government spending. As it stands, both bills are set to be voted on by the Senate at the end of this week. If neither bill passes a vote, Americans can expect a $600 pandemic relief payment instead of a $2000 one.

Will the CASH Act debate affect the $600 relief payment?

The short answer is no, a $600 relief check has already been approved by the House, the Senate and signed by the president. It should be disbursed to citizens in January 2021 regardless of what happens to the proposal to increase relief payments. If a $2,000 check is also approved, the amount Americans receive will increase by at least $1,400, but if it’s not approved Americans can still expect to receive $600 this winter.


What's your take?

Should Congress increase your payment or decrease spending by blocking the CASH Act

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Dean Turner

Great idea. Government solves a government caused issue by throwing more money the government doesn't have at the issue rather than actually fixing what's causing it, and thereby exacerbating the issue by causing more inflation. When's the next election again? Have enough people woken up to make a difference this time around?

25w
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Gilda Barnwell

What if you have not received the 600

2y
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Butch Meacham

dream on aerosmithens

2y
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Amber Jo Castle

Definitely increase my stimulus payment! None of them need to be made aware...they know.

2y
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Michael Irvin

In my opinion, as an American citizen, I believe we not only deserve the $2k stimulus, we need it. I've heard so many horror stories about people not getting their unemployment, which makes it to survive and stay financially afloat. The government needs to stop playing with our money and give it to us. This nonsense about social media companies being held responsible and to not dismantle Confederate monuments are stall tactics.

2y
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Joey Cunningham

Increase definitely people. Having hard times

2y
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GGi Dozier

Increase

2y
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Stephanie Heglin

I think it is sad that our government will send money to other countries, by the way we are the people who help build up that money and we don’t get a say in how the money is dispersed, they have to hesitate to help out the American people that live here and pay taxes. Sad very sad. Did any of them have to take a pay cut or loose their jobs like the rest of America???

2y
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DeMarkquis McGraw

Racism is so blatant...accept money for disrespectful treatment... yeah that really makes sense... just dumb.

2y
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Mary Bidou

Well since the $2trillion stimulus could have amounted to approximately $6000 for evry single man woman and child in the country but only reached SOME people, I think Every Man Woman And Child should get at least $600, or up to $2000

2y
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