Pre-election stimulus bill? Congress to vote on new bill soon
Last updated: February 2, 2023
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Janice Reed
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Pre-election stimulus bill? Congress to vote on new bill soon
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The new HEROES Act may be Congress’ final push to get a stimulus plan passed before election season kicks up. The updated bill is a reboot to the original HEROES Act, a bill that failed to pass in May 2020. Updates to the HEROES Act have made it a relatively smaller package than the previous proposal while maintaining many of the programs included in the original. Some still argue, however, that the $2.2 trillion price tag is too high.

While pressure from Americans in financial need to pass something is strong, many are still doubtful, after recently failed bills, that the new HEROES Act will be received with open arms by all in Congress. So what about this bill could benefit you, when will the new HEROES Act hit the Senate floor to be voted on and when could you expect to receive benefits from this bill?

What’s in the new HEROES Act?

The HEROES Act offers expansive wrap-around services that should impact all citizens, directly or indirectly. For a full run-down of all HEROES Act funding and how it will be distributed, check out the full text of the bill. If you’re looking for just the programs that may impact you most directly, here are some highlights.

Financial benefits for individuals and families

A $1,200+ stimulus check

In the new HEROES Act, a $1,200 stimulus payment will be included. Like with the CARES Act, the payment may be higher based on certain factors in your previous reported taxes, like dependent children, which will increase your stimulus payment by $500 per child. Like with CARES Act relief, the IRS will be disbursing payments either by direct deposit, paper checks, or prepaid debit cards.

Increased funding to food assistance programs

The new HEROES Act is includes boosted funding for programs like SNAP and local food banks so they can better help American families and individuals who are suffering with food insecurity during the #Coronavirus pandemic. The money applied should go toward expanding functions to meet higher demand and supporting safe operations to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at these facilities.

Increased funding for housing assistance

$10.5 billion dollars would be allocated, under this bill, toward the Housing and Urban Development office to support their many programs dedicated to keeping American families in stable homes during the pandemic. With many struggling to make ends meet due to unemployment, housing insecurity has skyrocketed. Keeping families and individuals housed not only protects them from COVID-19, but a number of other risks and dangers that go along with homelessness.

Funding for private and public schools

Schools, private and public, will receive a total of $255 billion dollars in funding to support pandemic related operations. As we roll into a new school year, it’s important to enable schools to be run safely, with the resources they need to protect both students and teachers from COVID-19 infection.

Benefits for workers and jobseekers

Reinstate $600/week in unemployment payments through February 2021

Unemployment checks should see a boost if this bill is passed. The new HEROES Act would reinstate the $600 per week additional unemployment payment, retroactive to those unemployed from September 6th 2020 through the end of February 2021. This means that if you’ve been unemployed in the month of September, you should receive back-dated payments through this month (and going forward) in the event that this bill passes.

Additional Family Medical Leave (FMLA) coverage for workers

If you’re sick, at risk of infection, or care for someone who is infected with COVID-19, this stipulation will be of interest to you. Under the new HEROES Act, all workers who have worked at least 30 calendar days for an employer will be entitled to ** up to 12 weeks of paid (job secure) sick leave.**

Employers will be able to require documentation in these cases, however they will not be able to demand it on the spot. If an employer requires documentation for sick leave as a condition of employment, they will have to grant a sick employee 5 weeks to procure the documents. This means you can’t be fired on the spot if you don’t have a doctor’s note right away.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) renewal

The Paycheck Protection Program allows small businesses to stay afloat during times of hardship brought on by the pandemic by providing loans. This program stipulates that a certain portion of the loan must be used to pay employees, which is a benefit to anyone currently working for a struggling small business. This program was active previously, however loan applications are no longer being accepted. If the new HEROES Act passes, small businesses can begin to apply for these loans again.

Funding for worker safety, training, and unemployment support

$3.7 billion dollars would be allocated to the Department of Labor to:

  • continue offering grants for worker training and advancement programs,
  • support unemployment claim processing,
  • help unemployed workers connect with employers, and
  • enforce worker safety protections to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in workplaces.

Back-pay for U.S. Postal Service workers

Workers for the United States Postal Service have been foregoing pay, and this bill is allocating funds to pay these workers what they’re owed. This bill is also allocating funds to produce better payroll oversight methods so that USPS workers don’t go unpaid again.

Support for airlines and airline employees

During the pandemic, airline travel has plummeted dramatically. Due to this massive shift, many airlines have had to lay off many of their employees to scale operations to a sustainable level. With this bill, however, airlines would get a boost in funding which would allow them to keep employees on payroll until the industry begins to recover.

Support for restaurants and restaurant workers

Like airlines, the restaurant business has suffered due to the current pandemic. With sales waning, and people eating at home more for their safety, many restaurants have shuttered or had to enact layoffs. This bill would allocate funding toward the restaurant industry to support operations during the recent downturn in restaurant patronage.

Reintegration program funding for ex-offenders

Job-seeking is especially hard during a pandemic, but doing it as an ex-offender simply adds more difficulty to the equation. This is why the new HEROES Act is funding programs for ex-offenders looking to re-integrate into the workforce. These programs will connect program participants with employers who are willing to hire employees who don’t have a spotless record.

When is the bill being voted on?

The pressure is on to get a stimulus plan enacted before election season picks up, and supporters of this bill want it to pass as soon as possible, however there could be stalls as debates about the finer points of the new HEROES Act begin anew. The soonest this bill could be voted on (if all runs smoothly) is October 1st, 2020, however there is already expected to be heavy opposition to this bill and the cost required to enact it.

When could I expect a check, if it passes soon?

If the house votes in favor of this bill and it’s signed into law by the president immediately after passing, the IRS could begin disbursing checks as early as mid-October. However, if previous bills have shown us anything, these proceedings seldom tend to operate on a tight schedule.


**Should Congress pass this bill now or wait until after the election? Share your thoughts in the comments below. **

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Pamela Harlan
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Thank you for letting me know 🙂

1y
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Kerron Walker
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Master upgrade 100 ton Captain

September!?!?!? WTF ?!?!?

2y
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John Hendricks
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Nancy will screw around with excess money until WE are all bankrupt. Pass the republican bill and get rid of nancy Gavin's aunt

2y
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Flako Silva
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I use to make more then 600 a week then covid-19 hit and I was out a job so I felt out application and got a job at Bush's chicken for only a week cause they shut down do to poor sells and I can't even claim unemployment. I'm stuck with what little money I have put away til I find a new job, but it's hard when no one is really hiring

2y
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Angel Rodriguez
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Yard Clerk at 84 Lumner

They to paid them selfback on my hardships check the 1st time not just half but all of my hardships cash check I have to eat to I have my grandkids but thank God I have a job today an who knows if tomorrow I'll have a job thx u

2y
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Sandra Mckinney
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Working from home

Yes we should get r bill pay on time I am Joe Biben is in office now we can where r mostes still

2y
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John Cupak
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Still dangling the carrot still jerking the American peoples chain government should be ashamed of themselves!

2y
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William Johnson
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Some are not as fortunate as others some ove us really need it i had a heart attack 7 months ago and struggling with a daughter with cancer also don't be quick to judge until they have walked a mile in our lives

2y
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Lisa Sauerberg
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I think this whole pandimic situation is sad . But it makes me angry to think that people sit on there butts and make more on unemployment than me working & being at risk daily ... I work for ihss and my clients are (not family ) I have to take them to doctors shopping due wound care take the to hospital at times . My family is at risk daily & to know I can make more just to stay home is very upsetting , and knowing we are NEVER included in hazard pay just seems unjust . I do believe people need unemployment , but I know some people that were not even making that much when they were working ...😠 So yes government should help help people , but not more then they deserved.. We need to earn what we get not get more than what we worked for ...

2y
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Karen Jenkins-Crabtree
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Vp Human Resources Jan at Homes By Herder

I’ve seen a lot of things but this is bribery. The democratics think we are stupid. I saw a briefing from Biden, he was reading from cue cards most of the time and you can tell ,if you are alert, that he is in some sort of mental slowness.

2y
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