WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 12: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, arrives at a news conference to deliver a … [+] statement on the Heroes Act aid package introduced by House democrats, May 12, 2020 on Capitol Hill, in Washington D.C. The legislation provides nearly $1 trillion for states and cities, and “hazard pay” for essential workers affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Graeme Jennings-Pool/Getty Images)
Confirmed: the House will vote today on The Heroes Act—the latest stimulus relief bill that includes, among other things, a second round of $1,200 stimulus checks, $200 billion in hazard pay for essential workers and a six-month extension to the COVID-19 unemployment program.
So far, Congress has passed several large stimulus packages in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, the House has put forward another one and will vote on it today. The details of this latest coronavirus stimulus relief package were released Tuesday. If this stimulus package becomes law, it would insert an additional $3 trillion into the economy in the ongoing effort to address the outstanding concerns and needs of those most impacted by the pandemic. It would also help to fill state, local and tribal government budget shortfalls.
Key aspects of The Heroes Act:
$200 billion for essential workers to get hazard pay.
$1 trillion for state, local and tribal governments to help pay “vital workers like first responders, health workers, and teachers” who could be on verge of losing their jobs. Here’s a breakdown of estimated allocations the states and territories would receive.
A second stimulus check for Americans in the amount of $1,200 (this would be a one-time payment as with the first stimulus check). However, instead of $500 for children, families would get $1,200 for each household member up to a max of $6,000.
$175 billion in housing assistance to help renters and homeowners with rent, mortgage and utility payments.
$75 billion for coronavirus testing, tracing and isolation efforts.
An extension of the COVID-19 unemployment program providing that the extra $600 per week benefit would last until January 2021 instead of expiring in July 2020 as it currently stands.
The Heroes Act also modifies or expands the following programs and policies as listed here on Congress.gov.
Medicare and Medicaid,
medical product supplies,
student loans and financial aid,
the federal workforce,
consumer protection requirements,
the U.S. Postal Service,
aviation and railroad workers, and
pension and retirement plans.
What aspects do most Americans and employees care about right now?
Americans—including the employed and unemployed—mostly want more stimulus checks, and they’ve had something to say about a second one-time stimulus check and the prospect of getting monthly stimulus checks.
WalletHub conducted a survey where a full 84% of respondents indicated a strong need and desire for more stimulus checks. And CNBC/Change Research conducted a poll where Americans living in political swing states expressed that people should get monthly stimulus checks that continue throughout the pandemic. Coronavirus has greatly increased financial and economic anxiety, and most respondents report that they will be completely broke within three months or less.
Learn more about what Americans are saying about stimulus checks.
Will it pass?
Though not all Democrats are on board with this stimulus relief package—some argue that it goes too far and others argue that it doesn’t go far enough—it is believed that there are indeed enough votes to pass The Heroes Act today. It is also estimated that up to a handful of Republicans will sign on to the bill as well and vote yes because the bill provides large sums of money for states and local governments. Some Republican representatives would be hard pressed by their constituents if they vote against money for state and local governments in this time of crisis.
What happens next?
If the House passes this new stimulus relief package today, it moves on to the Senate where it has been described as “dead on arrival.” Democrats hold a majority in the House, and Republicans have a majority in the Senate. Republicans are overwhelmingly against providing any more stimulus funds at this time.
Nancy Pelosi has indicated that the House will pass this stimulus relief package and put it forward as a starting point of negotiations with Republicans. However, even if Congress—the House and the Senate—eventually end up making something law, it will likely look different from what the House is voting on today because both sides will surely have to narrow down which priorities they are willing to fight for and then make compromises to get anything passed through both houses of Congress.
To learn more about The Heroes Act, check out this brief fact sheet.
To read the full Heroes Act bill, go here.
To learn more about the various stimulus check proposals, hazard pay for essential workers or unemployment and the economy, check into the recommended reading below.
The $2,000 Second Stimulus Check: What Americans Say About It
The $2,000 Vs. The $1,200 Stimulus Check: Four Key Payment Differences
Emergency Cash: Monthly Payments Up To $5,500 For Families And $2,000 For Individuals
Hazard pay for essential workers.
These Two Groups Of Employees Need New Stimulus Checks More Than Most
$200 Billion In Hazard Pay: These Essential Workers Must Get Their Fair Share
New Proposal: $1,920 Monthly Pay Raise For Essential Workers
Up To $25,000 Hazard Pay For Essential Workers ‘One Of Our Very Highest Priorities’
Senate Proposal: Up To $25,000 Pay Raise For These Essential Workers
Unemployment and the economy.
3 Bitter Truths About Coronavirus Job Losses And The Economy
16% Unemployment This Summer: CBO’s Prediction And How To Prepare For It
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