The second stimulus check appears to be on everyone's minds on Tuesday, judging by the chatter on social media. Users flooded Twitter and other forums to discuss the HEALS Act and the ongoing negotiations by lawmakers. Many shared their likes and dislikes about the bill, while others were just concerned about whether or not it would pass any time soon.
Lawmakers in the United States Senate and the U.S. Congress are working on a compromise for the HEALS Act, the latest stimulus bill to combat the economic recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The bill was written by the office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and while it includes a stimulus check, other factors of the legislation are holding up the debates. Many Americans are concerned about their unemployment benefits, funding for their schools to re-open safely and other provisions in the bill.
The stimulus check in the HEALS Act is nearly identical to the first one, passed in the CARES Act back in March. It is worth $1,200 for any individual who made $75,000 or less on their last tax filing, and it drops incrementally above that. At a gross annual income of $98,000, the payment reaches zero. The amounts are doubled for joint filers, and they can get a $500 credit for any dependents — even adults.
Lawmakers seem to be agreed on the check itself, and most Americans are satisfied with it. However, the massive cut to the emergency unemployment benefit is one of the biggest concerns being cited on social media. Those payments expired on July 31, making this the first week many out-of-work Americans will go without them. As it is written now, the HEALS Act would cut these payments to $200 until October.
Congressional Democrats say that this is the issue where they will stand their ground, demanding that Americans get the full $600 unemployment enhancement back. While many are grateful for this conviction, some are worried that it will lead to a stalemate, and the bill will not pass at all.
Meanwhile, the Senate is making a stand of its own on the liability shields in the HEALS Act. These would protect businesses, schools, hospitals and other public spaces from any lawsuits related to the coronavirus, meaning that a person who contracts the disease cannot seek damages. Many critics are worried about the long-term impact of these shields as the U.S. rushes to re-open.
All in all, the conversation around the HEALS Act is growing more desperate as the week goes on. Here is a sampling of what social media is saying.
Our side-by-side comparison of the Heroes & HEALS Act is out. House & Senate priorities couldn't be more different.
Progressives in the House are fighting for real people, while the Senate aims to protect corporate profits + fighter jets.July 31, 2020
Democrats passed the Heroes Act weeks ago. Republicans are refusing to pass it and are trying to shove through the woefully inadequate Heals Act instead ... or nothing. They're also good with nothing. pic.twitter.com/CY2iD48f34— Eugene V. Belitsky (@Jhenya_Belitsky) August 1, 2020
Calls for Additionsprevnext
Contact Lawmakers with Concerns
🚨 🚨 Hey folks, the #ADA is under attack.
McConnell’s #HEALSAct rolls back rights to accommodations & privacy of your health records.
Nursing homes get a blanket waiver after causing 1/3 of #Covid_19 deaths.July 31, 2020
My car payment is already behind and I can’t pay rent. On top of all the other bills and medical costs I have as a chronically ill single mom. The delay in payments and the non payments are going to ruin my life. #COVID__19 #floridaunemployment— Nikki (@thenikkibaxley) July 30, 2020
The HEALS Act includes immunity for any business, non-profit, school, medical provider/medical professions from liability for COVID-19 related harm. This is a THREAT to disabled people!! We are #DisabledNotDisposable and we shouldn't have to be asking for the right to live!!— Alejandrina Guzman (@alejandrinazoom) August 3, 2020
Mitch McConnell and the rest of the Republicans waited until Monday to present their "HEALS" Act.— 😷 Brian 4 Biden 🏃💨🌊🌊🌊 (@LocolopezNYC) July 31, 2020
Mitch is pushing his liability protections for companies rather than helping the the rest of America. #McConnellinghttps://t.co/hP6qkh9C1Y pic.twitter.com/K5nOSYtBa2