There are many proposals for the next coronavirus relief act being floated around, and some of them could change the definition of dependents as well as how much the guardians of dependents could be entitled to.
Changes, if any, would depend on which bill — or hybrid of bills — is passed by Congress. Democrats passed the $3.4 trillion HEROES Act in May, and Republicans passed the $1.3 trillion HEALS Act later in the same month. Since then, Republicans moved their estimate up by $600 billion to a $1.6 trillion offer proposed by Republicans, while Pelosi and the Democrats recently passed an updated $2.2 trillion version of the HEROES Act.
The Democrat-controlled House has repeatedly refused to vote in support of the Republicans’ $500 billion-$1.2 trillion piecemeal approaches to coronavirus relief, while the Republican-controlled Senate has refused to pass the Democrats’ more expensive coronavirus relief legislative acts for more than four months.
More recently, a $1.8 trillion proposal made by President Donald Trump encountered resistance from both deficit-hawk Republicans who thought the bill was too expensive and Democrats who thought the bill didn’t go far enough. Both sides have indicated they are hopeful a deal will be reached, even though they remain at odds.
The Rules Around Dependents Could Change in Future Coronavirus Relief Proposals
Under the CARES Act that was passed in March, families received $500 per dependent, for a maximum of three dependents. According to CNET, Trump’s $1.8 trillion coronavirus relief bill would have doubled that amount, providing $1,000 per dependent.
That offer, however, is not the first one to suggest a change to the rules around dependents. For example, under one of the Democrats’ proposals, anyone claimed as a dependent on a tax return — including children older than 16 and adults under the care of the filing taxpayer — could be defined as a dependent, according to CNET. Moreover, parents who shared custody of one child might both be able to receive money under a new bill, CNET reported.
The Internal Revenue Service was forced to begin issuing catch-up payments back in August for people who never received the funds for their dependents with their original economic impact payments.
Mnuchin & Pelosi Remain at Odds on a Bill
The main two negotiators of a stimulus package, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, have both expressed optimism and suggested that they are close to a deal, even though their stalemate has lasted more than four months. They have also both have blamed one other for the lack of progress on a new coronavirus relief bill.
Mnuchin, according to Bloomberg, told reporters that Pelosi was “dug in” on some of the demands she has requested for her proposal. “We’ve offered compromises,” he said. “The speaker, on a number of issues, is still dug in. If she wants to compromise, there will be a deal.”
Pelosi, however, said that any deal would need to include funds for states to reopen schools safely and provide coronavirus testing. Moreover, she said that if a deal were to be done, Trump would need to step in to persuade Republican senators to support it. “From the start, the president has never taken this seriously and neither has Mitch McConnell,” Pelosi said on MSNBC’s The ReidOut.
During a recent edition of MSNBC’s show, Morning Joe, Pelosi reiterated the need to address the coronavirus itself in order to get the economy back on track, and she said the administration has “finally” started to come around to the idea. “If we don’t crush the virus, we’re never going to be able to open our economy and our schools and everything safely,” Pelosi said on the show. “Finally, the administration has agreed to a strategic plan, science-based, well-funded to take on the virus. This has taken all these months since February and in our bill, since … March 14.”