COVID-19 Stimulus: How Many More People Would Receive a Check?

covid-19 stimulus checks second round

Getty Will there be a second COVID-19 stimulus check, but what would it look like, and what is the HEALS Act?

If the HEALS Act is passed as written, 26 million more people could qualify for a stimulus check, according to the Tax Foundation.

Under the CARES Act, approximately 159 million Americans received an economic impact payment, according to CNBC. Taxpayers received only $500 for child dependents up to age 17, and Americans age 17 and over were not eligible to receive a $1,200 check. Under the HEALS Act, however, citizens will receive the additional $500 for dependents of any age, CNBC reported.

The Stimulus Check Structure Is Otherwise the Same as the CARES Act

Apart from including the millions of college students and disabled dependents who were not included under the CARES Act, the HEALS Act follows the same structure. That means that payments will be based on 2018 or 2019 filings, and $1,200 would be issued for those earning up to $75,000 and $2,400 for couples earning up to $150,000.

While the cost of the bill has not been revealed, it is estimated to come in at around $1 trillion, NPR reported.

What Else Does the HEALS Act Include?

The HEALS Act also includes $100 billion in school funding, a “sequel” Paycheck Protection Program, and extended unemployment benefits.

On the Senate floor on Monday, Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “We have produced a tailored and targeted draft that will cut right to the heart of three distinct crises facing our country: getting kids back in school, getting workers back to work and winning the health care fight against the virus,” according to NPR.

In terms of federal unemployment benefits, the HEALS Act would offer $200 per week as opposed to the $600 per week issued under the CARES Act.

The $200 per week would extend through the first week of October, after which point a more “complicated program” will be implemented at a state level, according to Fox.

The bill has not gained bipartisan support as it stands. On the Senate Floor earlier this week, Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer stated, “We’ve waited months for a Republican bill and still the Republican response is totally inadequate.”

In return, McConnell stated, “The Senate will not waste time with pointless partisanship. There is a reason why even Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer themselves have publicly downplayed the multi-trillion-dollar socialist manifesto they published some weeks back, and have suggested the real, serious discussion would begin when Republicans released our outline.”

As NPR pointed out, the HEALS Act proposal “sets in motion difficult negotiations for Republicans and Democrats”.

Democrats have urged Republicans to consider their HEROES Act proposal as opposed to offering their own package, according to NPR, which was passed by the House in mid-May.

Both the House and Senate must pass a bill, and it must be signed by President Donald Trump, in order to become law. Congress has until August 7, when the Senate takes its next recess, to agree on the details of a stimulus package. Until then, Americans can expect many rounds of bipartisan negotiations.

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