With #Coronavirus cases spiking rapidly throughout the country, many states are rolling back opening phases and reinstating stricter guidelines in an attempt to safely reopen the economy and get America back to work.
Over 159 million American’s have received the one-time payment, yet millions are still gravely affected by the pandemic and remain unemployed or furloughed. With the Senate headed into a recess in August, it is imperative that an additional stimulus package is approved and passed. Earlier this summer, the prospects of another stimulus package were slim. But on July 1, when asked about whether or not he supported a larger stimulus check or greater unemployment insurance, President Trump replied, "I want the money getting to people to be larger so they can spend it. I want the money to get there quickly and in a non-complicated fashion."
Right now, there are many options for continued relief the government is looking at. Here are the stimulus plans that are currently under review:
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, each member of a household would receive a one-time payment of $1,200. For instance, a family of four whose parents earn less than $150,000 would receive a one-time payment of $4,800. 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.
It has not yet been passed by the Senate but is the only bill that has been passed by either chamber of Congress.
There are currently two proposals that incentivize individuals to get back to work:
The first, backed by Rep. 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). This particular 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.
The second proposal presented by Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) gives workers a $450 weekly bonus for up to six weeks in addition to their standard wages or salary, for a potential total of $2,700. He states that, “this proposal would ensure that there are as few situations as possible where staying on unemployment is more lucrative than returning to work." He believes this provision should be a part of the next Coronavirus response stimulus legislation considered in the Senate.
The most recent proposal was introduced by Florida's GOP Senator Marco Rubio. In this legislation, he pushes to provide aid to mixed-status families, allowing people who filed tax returns with non-citizen spouses to receive the $1,200 check. Almost 15.4 million people including mixed-status families were excluded from the first round of stimulus payments.
Passed into law in March, the CARES Act provided an additional $600 per week on top of regular unemployment insurance —or $2,400 monthly to the millions of American’s that have filed for unemployed or were furloughed due to COVID-19. Currently, there are 19.5 million Americans actively receiving this bonus and it is set to expire on July 31, 2020.
Many Democrats in Congress continue to push for an extension of unemployment benefits and have made them a key part of greater initiatives and stimulus proposals. Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) would extend the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation to Jan. 31, 2021.
The Worker Relief and Security Act that has been proposed by Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO); Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI); and Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) would extend unemployment benefits until President Trump declares the state of emergency for COVID-19 is over. At that point, benefits would continue for another 30 days and then expire. Those still qualified for unemployment would receive a reduced unemployment benefit for the following 13 weeks, as defined by the unemployment rate of your home state.
Financial analysts argue that removing this extra bonus cold-turkey could severely derail the economic recovery.
While the White House and Congress outline their proposals, it won’t be until later in July that lawmakers are expected to begin solidifying the details of a second stimulus package. The final proposal may or may not include a second round of payments for individuals and families.
You have a say in this matter - and to voice your opinion, contact your local state representatives and elected officials and tell them what you'd like to see happen.
What do you think? Would you rather get a bonus for finding a job, another stimulus payment, or do you want the government to extend the $600/week until the end of the year? Share your thoughts in the comments below.