Policy-makers will begin efforts on passing the HEROES Act after Senate recess, which ends on 7/20/20. You can track the bill's progress through the senate here. Though progress will begin toward passing this bill in July, if it passes, checks may not arrive to most Americans until August or September.
You can read more below for information on what the HEROES act is and what you can expect to receive if it passes. Check back here for more updates as progress on passing this bill begins.
Nearly three months ago, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (known as the CARES Act), which brought “stimulus” payments of up to $1200 per person. Back then, the hope was that a quick infusion of money into Americans’ bank accounts would help them make ends meet during the worst of the Coronavirus outbreak. At that time though, few anticipated that the crisis would continue so long.
Now, with #unemployment rates remaining high and a flagging US economy, the debate rages on amongst elected officials whether or not more money is needed. Last week the President said that the Administration would definitely be asking for more stimulus money, but he did not say whether or not that means he supports payments to individuals.
The new coronavirus relief package — called the HEROES Act — would consist of another $3 trillion in economic aid for American workers suffering as a result of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Many workers are still unemployed or furloughed—and are concerned about the future of unemployment insurance benefits, as the $600 bonus payments are set to expire at the end of July.
Earlier this month, the Labor Department reported that 1.9 million Americans filed new unemployment insurance claims for the last week of May, with 21.5 million receiving unemployment benefits by the week of May 23. And it's no surprise 54% of consumers said their income has been affected by the COVID-19 crisis, according to a recent survey.
Just last week, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the administration was looking into what could be done to stimulate the economy, adding that it was “very seriously considering” a second round of stimulus checks, but there has not been any final decisions yet made. Some ideas floated by the administration include a $4000 travel tax credit, which could give people up to $4,000 in credits for domestic vacation expenses at hotels, restaurants, theme parks, and other travel-related businesses through the end of 2021. However, most Americans say that they would prefer a stimulus payout instead of the tax credit.
Republican senators, who hold the majority, have indicated that they are unlikely to pass the HEROES Act as is, and will be discussing new proposals after the July 4th holiday.
The HEROES Act, which was passed last month in the House of Representatives, offers a larger stimulus payment than the previous CARES Act. Under the new legislation, initially proposed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, each member of a household would receive a one-time payment of $1,200. The income thresholds would remain the same as with CARES Act, meaning that single taxpayers earning less than $75,000 and married taxpayers earning a total of $150,000 would receive the full payments. For instance, a family of four whose parents earn less than $150,000 would receive a one-time payment of $4,800.
The House is currently discussing several other proposals, including ones from the Republicans, who are pushing for $450 a week in “back-to-work bonuses” as well as the new Reopening America by Supporting Workers and Business Act of 2020. This particular proposal from Kevin Brady (R-TX) provides an incentive for people to return to the workforce — unemployed workers would get a one-time payment of $1,200 to go back to a job (or find a new one). Brady’s proposal allows workers to keep the extra $600 per week in unemployment benefits for up to two weeks after going back to work. That means those who resume their jobs before the end of July would get $600 in extra cash per week for a total $1,200 stimulus payment.
While the White House and congressional leaders may spend the next few weeks working on the outlines of their proposals, it won’t be until later July that lawmakers are expected to begin solidifying the details of a second stimulus package, including if it will include a second round of payments for individuals and families and how much, if anything, they might expect in a check.
While the prospects for a second stimulus package seem likely, “The odds of a Phase Four deal are very, very high,” according to White House advisor Kevin Hassett, until Congress actually passes the bill and the president signs it into law, we will be in a holding pattern.
Would you rather receive a bonus for returning to work or a one-time stimulus payment that does not depend upon your work status?