The second round of stimulus checks looks to be coming together, even if just a bit. With Congress having reconvened more than a week prior, and on a tight schedule ahead of their next recess, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has repeatedly insisted that the second round of payments will be a priority.
The still-developing HEALS Act has been the topic of legislative debate, and the perimeters have started to be made apparent by Republicans in the Senate. Though, as Forbes reports, they haven't been approved by any Senate Democrats, not to mention the House of Representatives, where they hold the majority. Then, of course, it will need to be signed into law by President Donald Trump. Despite these obstacles, some expectations are starting to be set.
Along with what's expected to come, several provisions haven't been introduced yet, and may not be. Things like student loan forgiveness, liability shields and payroll tax cuts are all off the table at this point, despite the latter being championed by Trump repeatedly throughout the spring and summer. With the next recess set for Aug. 7, here's a look at what to start to expect with a possible second stimulus package.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin confirmed that the payments from the HEALS Act will be equal to those from the CARES Act. On Sunday, Senator Lamar Alexander confirmed that the next stimulus check will be a one-time payment of $1,200.prevnext
As with the CARES Act, each dependent claimed will tack another $500 for each dependent, although this time that applies to any dependent with no age restriction. The CARES Act limited qualifying dependents to 17-years-old or younger.prevnext
The checks will be issued to those who earn $75,000 annually or less. This means that couples filing jointly would get $2,400 if they earn less than $150,000 together. Those who earn more will have their stimulus check reduced via a scale similar to the one used in the spring stimulus.prevnext
The Unemployment Benefits
The HEALS Act will propose a flat short-term unemployment benefit of $200 a week while individual state's unemployment departments will need to update their systems to implement a system that will cap benefits at 70 percent of someone's normal salary. However, it could take anywhere from 8 to 20 weeks for these systems to be put in place. In most cases, this will be significantly lower than the automatic $600 unemployment insurance afforded by the CARES Act.prevnext
The Eviction Moratorium
The moratorium on evictions, put in place by the CARES Act, expired on July 24, however, White House Advisor Larry Kudlow also has indicated that the moratorium would be extended in the next package. There's no indication of what that moratorium will be or when it will take effect at this point.prevnext
The Aid for Schools
As previously reported, there will be a significant amount of funding going into schools this round. Despite Sen. Rand Paul's objections, $105 billion will go towards the Department of Education, with $70 billion of that going to K-12 and with another $29 billion to higher education. An additional $5 billion will go towards Governor's funds to be designated for either K-12 or higher education, though it will ultimately be up to them. Worth noting that some of these funds will only be available to schools that physically reopen, which the Trump administration has fiercely advocated, despite health risks.prev