With the House’s Democratic proposed Heroes Act stimulus package deemed “dead on arrival” by the Trump Administration, Americans are anticipating a new bill crafted by the Senate to address the economic hardships incurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Heroes Act, passed by the House in mid-May, included a direct payment of $1,200 per adult and each child (up to 3 children) for those earning $75,000 or less (single adult) or $150,000 or less (for couples). It also extended the extra $600 weekly unemployment benefit through January 2021, established hazard pay to essential workers and provided nearly $100 billion in rental assistance.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated that fewer people would likely receive a direct payment in the new stimulus package, suggesting an income limit of $40,000 instead of the $75,000 income limit provided in the Cares and Heroes Acts. Republicans are also reluctant to extend the federal unemployment benefit of $600 beyond July 31. Senator McConnell also wants a liability shield included in the new bill to protect businesses from being sued due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Senate will return from its July 4th recess on July 20th, and if all goes well and the bill receives bipartisan support, a new stimulus package could be signed into law before the House begins their summer recess on August 3rd. Checks could go out in early September. If a bill isn’t passed, it will have to wait until the next session when both the House and Senate return from their respective recesses on September 8th. With several points of contention between the two parties, it could be late 2020 or early 2021 before Americans see any tangible relief.