Millions of adults may be eligible for two $1,200 stimulus checks if the newly proposed second coronavirus relief bill — the HEROES Act — is passed. According to Forbes, the first bill — the CARES Act — excluded undocumented immigrants from receiving stimulus checks, as they do not have a Social Security Number. The HEROES Act would allow for anyone filing taxes using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number to be eligible for stimulus relief.
Additionally, it would include an amendment to the CARES Act, which would retroactive allow ITIN filers to receive the initial $1,200 stimulus payment that they were denied, thus giving them an individual total of $2,200. The HEROES Act — which is fully titled Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act — would also provide "hazard pay" for essential workers, such as first responders, health care workers, and sanitation workers. Employees of businesses that were required to stay open during stay-at-home orders would also be eligible for this. The House of Representatives plans to pass the bill, but the Senate may wait about two weeks before voting on it. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has stated the Senate feels no "urgency" to vote on it soon, adding that they will be waiting until after Memorial Day.
Even if the bill passes the House and the Senate, it will still have to be approved by President Trump, who has publicly stated that he would like to see Payroll Tax Cuts included in a second stimulus bill. "I told Steve [Mnuchin, Treasury Secretary] just today, we’re not doing anything unless we get a payroll tax cut," he stated during a previous Fox News appearance. "That is so important to the success of our country." Payroll taxes include Medicare and Social Security, and are taken from employees and employers. The idea behind it is that it would take less money from workers and businesses, but some experts don't think it would be as effective as many politicians would like it to be.
Garrett Watson, the Tax Foundation's Senior policy analyst, has spoken out against the use of payroll tax cuts, stating that — in his expert opinion — it would likely not very beneficial at this time. "When you do a temporary tax cut like what the White House is proposing, the literature generally finds there isn't a big effect on employment levels," Watson said. "If you look at the 2009, 2 percentage points payroll tax cut under the Obama administration, the evidence bears out that most of that federal tax cut was saved by consumers."