While both sides of the aisle have voiced their support for a second round of economic stimulus checks, lawmakers have yet to agree on the specific terms of a relief package.
Legislators have until August 7, when the Senate takes its next recess, to decide on the details of a stimulus package. If no consensus is reached by then, another round of stimulus money will be delayed.
As of Saturday, both parties were “struggling to complete a deal” on a fifth coronavirus relief bill, in the words of The Hill.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer met with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on Saturday, and Pelosi said the meeting was “productive in terms of moving us forward,” according to CBS News. Schumer, however, said they were “not close yet” to reaching a consensus on the terms of the package.
On Sunday, Mnuchin told reporters, “I could have [stimulus checks] out immediately… If I could get it passed tomorrow, I could start printing them the following week. I could get out 50 million payments really quickly.”
Here’s an August update on the status of a second coronavirus stimulus check:
The HEALS Act
The package on the table now is the HEALS Act, which proposes a stimulus check model similar to the CARES Act. Under the HEALS Act, eligible Americans earning less than $75,000 would receive up to $1,200, plus $500 per dependent regardless of their age, according to AS.com.
Shortly after the HEALS Act was revealed, however, Democrats voiced their disapproval for the bill, with Schumer stating, “We’ve waited months for a Republican bill and still the Republican response is totally inadequate.”
Now, we are in the midst of bipartisan negotiations, waiting for both parties to reach an agreement on the parameters of the package. The bill must be passed in both the Senate and the House, and be signed by President Donald Trump, in order to become law.
In addition to $1,200 stimulus checks, the HEALS Act proposes $100 billion in school funding, a sequel paycheck protection program and extended federal unemployment benefits.
The HEROES Act
In mid-May, the Democratic-led House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act — a $3 trillion package that was intended as a starting point for stimulus negotiations.
Under the HEROES Act, eligible Americans would receive $1,200 per dependent, including college kids and dependents over 16.
Similar to the Democratic response to the HEALS Act, the Republican response to the HEROES Act was not positive. According to Debt.org, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell dismissed the bill as an “unserious product from an unserious majority.”
GOP Senators Are Suggesting a $1,000 Stimulus Check
The most recent suggestion by four GOP senators is to issue checks of $1,000 for adults and children with Social Security Numbers. On Thursday, GOP Senators Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Steve Daines of Montana, Mitt Romney of Utah and Marco Rubio of Florida floated the idea of issuing $1,000 to both adults and children in an attempt to focus on assisting families, according to AS.com.
A press release by the four senators read, “The Coronavirus Assistance for American Families Act would provide payments of $1,000 for adults and children with Social Security numbers (SSNs). A family of four would receive an additional $600 more than under the CARES Act.”
Because the stimulus amount for each child would be $1,000, a family of four would receive $4,000 under this plan rather than the $3,400 they received under the CARES Act.
Cassidy, a medical doctor, stated in the press release, “Much of the burden of the pandemic has fallen on parents and children. This legislation prioritizes their needs by providing resources for school supplies, childcare, and other unexpected expenses.”