Last weekend, Congress failed to reach its self-imposed August 7 deadline to come to an agreement on the details of a stimulus relief package. On August 8, President Donald Trump signed three memorandums and an executive order. Noticeably missing from his actions was a second round of stimulus checks.
On Friday, August 14, news surfaced that both the House and Senate would be breaking until after Labor Day, with negotiations surrounding stimulus relief packages still at a standstill, according to Forbes. But what does that mean?
Congress cannot seem to reach an agreement on certain aspects of a bill, like the overall cost, extended unemployment benefits, and state and local funding. While it’s possible that another bill could be passed prior to both houses returning in September, it’s “very unlikely,” in the words of Forbes.
Americans should not expect to see another stimulus check until late September at the earliest. It’s more likely that discussions will continue into October, or even later.
The stimulus bill must be approved by both the Senate and the House, and then be signed by President Trump, in order to become law.
When Do the Senate and House Return?
The Senate will return to session on September 8, and the House will return on September 14.
Under the HEALS Act, according to CNET, eligible Americans with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of less than $99,000 would receive a second $1,200 check.
And unlike the CARES Act, which issued checks of $500 to dependents age 16 and under, dependents of any age would be issued money. The HEALS Act, which is the Republicans’ proposal, creditors and banks would also be unable to “seize the payment to pay debts,” reported CNET.
On the Senate floor last week, McConnell said of the proposal, “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.
Will There Be a Second Stimulus Check?
Many Americans are concerned about whether or not a check will be included in another stimulus package, and both parties– as well as President Trump– have vocalized their support for another round of checks.
Last week, Howard Gleckman, senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, told CNBC, “What I would say to people is there is still a pretty good chance that you’re going to get these payments. But it’s impossible to know when or how long it’s going to take.”
Treasury Secretary Mnuchin has also said that checks, if and when approved, could come “very, very quickly,” according to Forbes.
The Democratic proposal for a stimulus package is the HEROES Act, which was passed by the House on May 15 and dismissed by Senate Republicans.
The HEROES Act is a $3 trillion package that promises a second check, debt relief $200 billion for hazard pay (with a $13/hour pay raise until workers receive a total of $10,000 if their regular pay is less than $200,000/year), an additional six months of COVID-19 unemployment, housing and food assistance, and nearly $1 trillion in aid for state and local governments, according to debt.org.
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