Over 128 million Americans have received their stimulus check payments, but when will we know if another is on the way? On Tuesday, Democrats in the House of Representatives unveiled a $3 trillion stimulus package called the HEROES Act that includes another round of $1,200 stimulus payments. The House is expected to vote on the bill Friday.
If passed, the bill would then go to the Senate. There, in the words of the Los Angeles Times, “it would almost certainly face opposition from Republicans, who control that chamber of Congress.”
Without support from both parties, it could take weeks — if not months — for a second round of payments to be issued.
The HEROES Act
The HEROES Act proposes a second round of stimulus checks of $1,200 per adult and $1,200 per dependent for a maximum of three dependents. This differs from the CARES Act, which provided just $500 for dependent children only.
The bill also allocates $500 billion in direct assistance to state governments to help relieve economic distress. In addition, $375 billion would go towards assisting local governments, $20 billion to tribal governments and $20 billion to U.S. territories.
The 1,800-page package also addresses problems within the U.S. Postal Service by allocating $25 billion in assistance to the service.
The HEROES Act would also provide additional help for homeowners and renters by temporarily prohibiting eviction filings and foreclosures for one year, Investopedia reported.
Additionally, the bill aims to alleviate the stress of student loan debt. If passed, it would suspend debt payments on federal student loans through September 2021. It would also forgive up to $10,000 in both federal and private student loan debt, Forbes reported.
And while the CARES Act supplemented unemployment insurance by adding $600 per week in federal funding to existing state benefits for individuals through the end of July, the HEROES Act would extend the added benefit through January 31, 2021.
The measure also includes assistance to essential workers, including a $13 minimum wage retroactive to late January.
Will the HEROES Act Pass?
The Republican-controlled Senate poses a major obstacle to the bill.
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump described the HEROES Act as, “DOA. Dead on arrival. And Nancy Pelosi knew that,” according to NBC.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell echoed those sentiments, arguing that the package does not “deal with reality.”
During a May 7 appearance on The Daily Briefing, McConnell said, “We’ve added $2.8 trillion to the national debt over the last six weeks. We can’t keep throwing endless amounts of borrowed money at the problem in hope to fix it.”
David Segal of the Demand Progress Education Fund has also urged policy-makers to vote against the bill. “This is a fake messaging bill that somehow still falls short in the depth of the stimulus it signals.”
It’s likely that the final proposal will look very different than what Democrats have proposed. As Vox points out, however, “Given the scale of the economic fallout six months ahead of the 2020 election … Republicans may well be pressured to reconsider their opposition toward additional stimulus.”