Second Stimulus Bill: One Proposal Calls for $2,000 Check Instead of $1,200

Congress may be on recess until July 20, but that doesn't mean that thoughts for the next relief package have slowed down. With a number of proposed measures set to be up for discussion when the House and Senate reconvene later in July, one stimulus bill seeks to give direct payments of $2,000 to the American people, an increase of $800 over the first round of stimulus payments that were passed under the CARES Act.

Introduced by Sen. Kamala D. Harris, Bernie Sanders, and Ed Markey, the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act would give $2,000 per month to most Americans throughout the remainder of the coronavirus pandemic and for three months after the pandemic ends. Married couples would receive $4,000 and the bill would allow for $2,000 per child for up to three children. The amount of the stimulus bill would phase out for those earning more than $100,000 per year. The bill would also ensure that the homeless and those in foster care receive payments, and debt collectors would not be allowed to seize the stimulus checks.

In a statement, Harris said that while "the CARES Act gave Americans an important one-time payment," the $1,200 stimulus checks provided under it "wasn't nearly enough to meet the needs of this historic crisis." She added that the proposed bill would "ensure families have the resources they need to make ends meet." Sanders, meanwhile, said that "Congress has a responsibility to make sure that every working-class household in America receives a $2,000 emergency payment a month for each family member." Markey agreed, stating that "a single check is not sufficient" for most households and that "recurring direct cash assistance" would give Americans "the reassurance that this critical support will continue and that their government will support them."

The Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act is not the only bill seeking to give the American people a larger stimulus payout. The Emergency Money for the People Act, introduced by Rep. Ro Khanna and Rep. Tim Ryan, seeks to expand the eligibility of stimulus payments to all qualifying Americans over the age of 16 making less than $130,000 annually. Those payments, totaling $2,000, would be provided for up to 12 months.

At this time, it is unclear if another round of stimulus checks will be included in what is believed to be the final relief package, which will likely pass in late July or early August. A growing number of lawmakers have begun to voice their support for further direct payments. President Donald Trump, when referring to the HEROES Act, has even claimed that he supports "actually larger numbers than the Democrats."