The second round of COVID-19 stimulus checks might arrive in Americans’ bank accounts as early as late August or September, if Congress can vote in favor of the latest stimulus package proposal. The package was revealed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at the end of July. It’s called the HEALS Act (Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection & Schools Act) and includes an identical stimulus check proposal as the first one, which came from the CARES Act in March.
Eligibility will be based on your most recent adjusted gross income. The general structure of the stimulus check amounts, as established in the CARES Act, is:
- Single filers who earn $75,000 or less annually will get $1,200.
- Single filers who earn more than $75,000 will see their payment amount reduced by 5% of the amount they earn over $75,000, up to $99,000 as the cutoff point.
- Joint filers who earn less than $150,000 a year will get the full benefit.
- Joint filers who earn more than $150,000 will see their payment amount reduced by 5% of the amount they earn, up to $198,000.
In a press release from his office, McConnell outlined the structure of the HEALS Act. “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 healthcare fight against the virus,” McConnell said. “Kids, jobs, and healthcare.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Details on the HEALS Act: Unemployment Assistance, Funds for School Openings & More
I joined @CNBC to discuss Senate Republican's HEALS Act.
The pandemic is not finished. The economic pain is not finished. So Congress cannot be finished either. Republicans are ready to govern. We just need Democrats to decide whether they are serious about making law. pic.twitter.com/aM30wub8rT
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) July 28, 2020
The HEALS Act offers much more than a second round of stimulus payments. The $1 trillion package also promises to renew unemployment assistance, though with slightly less support than what was offered in the CARES Act. Additionally, it provides over $100 billion in funding for schools, specifically for re-opening costs necessary during the pandemic.
According to Forbes, this is how the funding for schools will break down:
- K-12: $70 billion
- Higher Education: $30 billion
- Governor’s Discretion: $5 billion
Timeline for the HEALs Act: When Can You Expect a Check?
The CARES Act provided Kentucky and our nation with the tools to endure the first phase of the coronavirus crisis. But America’s fight continues, so Congress’s support for our people must continue as well. CARES 2 will focus on three things: Kids, jobs, and healthcare. pic.twitter.com/l70w1h7jF0
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) July 24, 2020
The details of the HEALS Act were announced on July 27. Now, Congress will have to move quickly to approve or debate the details of the stimulus package before the next summer recess.
The House of Representatives is set to go on summer recess on July 31, and the Senate is set to go on recess on August 7. The House is expected to delay summer recess to discuss this proposal, making it possible it could move through the House and Senate before the break so the president could sign the proposal into law. If that were to happen, Americans could expect their next stimulus payment as early as the third week of August.
If Congress can’t come to an agreement before the summer break, then Americans should expect their next stimulus payment to come no earlier than mid-September. As for how quickly Congress is expected to move through this proposal, it could go either way.
Democrat leaders like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have already indicated their displeasure with the HEALs Act; in a tweet following the reveal of the proposal, Schumer wrote, “Republicans dithered for 3 months while Democrats pleaded for action on COVID. And now that Republicans finally have a proposal, it’s corporate focused, doesn’t meet the needs of the American people, and half of their own caucus probably won’t support it anyway!”
It’s still possible that bipartisan negotiation could take place over the coming days so that Democrats and Republicans in Congress can reach a compromise on HEALs and pass it into law.