The Senate resumed its slow deliberation on the upcoming stimulus package, dubbed the HEALS Act. While it's unclear if it'll pass, or what stipulations will be included, or if it will get done before Congress' upcoming recess starting Aug. 7.
While patterned largely after the CARES Act that was passed back in March, one aspect of the HEALS Act does improve on its predecessor. As Tax Foundation noted, along with a one-time $1,200 payment, it also provides $500 for each dependent. Although the CARES Act put an age limit on those dependents at 17-years-old or younger, the HEALS Act has no age restrictions. This means that roughly 26 million more people are eligible for a payment than before. Like the CARES Act, there is no limit on dependents, either.
This was a major change from the HEROES Act, which was passed by the House of Representatives back in May. That proposal would have also allotted a one-time payment of $1,200, plus another $1,200 for each dependent. However, it also capped the limit of dependents to three. It also has no chance of making it through the Senate, where it was never even brought to the floor.
There was also the proposed Coronavirus Assistance for American Families Act, sponsored by Sens. Bill Cassiday of Louisiana, Marco Rubio of Florida, Mitt Romney of Utah, and Steve Daines of Montana. It would send $1,000 stimulus checks to individuals and $1,000 to eligible children. While it's less than the $1,200 from the HEALS Act, it could provide more money for families. For instance, a family of four would get $4,000 instead of $3,400.
Despite the apparent lack of progress made by the Senate working under their self-imposed deadline, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that there had been some common ground. Speaking to ABC News' This Week on Sunday, Mnuchin said that both Republicans and Democrats are in full agreement that the second stimulus check will be $1,200. He also pointed out the obvious by saying it was a "very contentious" issue for both sides. Including the Trump administration's disagreement with the Democrats' call for more funds to help state and local governments because "we're not going to do to bail out those states that had financial issues." He did say that they did agree on the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loans, and between that and the stimulus checks, there was "enormous bipartisan" support.