While talks have stalled, members of Congress have remained insistent that the second stimulus package will be passed into law soon. Ideally, this would happen before the body adjourns for a weeks-long recess starting Aug. 7.
On Monday, President Donald Trump's administration and Congressional Democratic leaders met to discuss the proposed stimulus package, the HEALS Act. While there's no deal firmly in place, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the meeting was "productive." However, the White House is trying to get Democrats to accept short-term fixes while they have larger ambitions in mind for what's likely the final stimulus package. Both Pelosi and Schumer met with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, with the latter representing the Trump administration.
The meeting happened a week after McConnell finally introduced the $1 trillion HEALS Act in the Senate, nearly two months after the House passed the much loftier $3 trillion HEROES Act. While the HEALS Act is patterned mainly off of the CARES Act, CNET took a look at what some of the expected benefits recipients can anticipate when (or if) it gets passed into law.
Another Stimulus Check
Like the CARES Act, the HEALS Act is expected to authorize payments of up to $1,200 per eligible adult. While the CARES Act allotted $500 for each dependent, it capped the eligibility at 17-years-old, whereas the HEALS Act would not.prevnext
Additional Unemployment Benefits
There will likely be some form of additional unemployment, though if Republicans get their way, it will be far lower than the $600-per-week from the CARES Act. "We have learned what we knew at the time, that when you pay people more not to work than they would get working, what do you expect? People will not work," Sen. Chuck Grassley said back on July 27. "And what this country needs is more workers."prevnext
Payroll Protection Program
The HEALS Act would also revive the Payroll Protection Program, a multi-billion dollar fund designed to keep small businesses afloat during the pandemic — although some of its funds went to questionable places. Currently, the Republican proposal means to target the hardest-hit small businesses, specifically those with revenue losses of 50 percent or more over last year.prevnext
Employee Retention Tax Credits
One possible provision of the HEALS Act would give an employer refundable tax credits for wages for employee payrolls. The employer can then use the credits to subtract from taxes they owe, which could potentially result in a refund.prevnext
Return to Work Incentives
A temporary weekly bonus has been proposed for unemployed workers who secure a new job or are rehired, which would be paid out in addition to their regular wages. The proposal was laid out by Republican Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican, totaling $450 a week. However, there is no provision of its kind listed in the HEALS Act at this time.prevnext
House Democrats had included an eviction moratorium in the HEROES Act, which isn't part of the Senate's bill at the moment. However, President Donald Trump has been vocal about an executive order that would reinstate the moratorium, although no details were provided.prevnext
Payroll Tax Cut
Despite not appearing in the CARES Act, HEALS Act, or the erstwhile HEROES Act, Trump has repeatedly insisted that a payroll tax cut would be a necessary component of economic recovery. So much so that he's floated the idea of an executive order to do that, as well.prev