On Friday, yet another deadline passed without Congress agreeing on a second stimulus package. As a result, President Donald Trump shared that he plans to take executive action to extend some of the coronavirus relief programs, including an extension to unemployment benefits. Whether he takes action or not, economic impact payments will not be included as Americans will have to wait until Congress comes to an agreement on another stimulus package. Even though the details of the next stimulus package are up in the air, there is definitely still hope that more economic impact payments are on the way.
While there have been deliberations concerning many aspects of another package, one thing that Democrats and Republicans seem to agree on is that Americans should get another check to help deal with the struggles related to the coronavirus pandemic. Proposals from both Democrats and Republicans, including the GOP's recently-proposed HEALS Act, all call for eligible Americans to receive additional financial relief. The HEALS Act, which Senate Republicans unveiled in late July, calls for eligible Americans to receive another one-time check of $1,200. Since nothing is set in stone yet, there is still a chance that there could be some changes to that figure. But, judging by the fact that both Democrats and Republicans are on board with the idea, Americans can likely expect to receive another economic impact payment in the near future.
The two political parties may agree on economic impact payments, but they seem to have a disagreement over unemployment benefits. Under the CARES Act, eligible Americans received an additional $600 per week in unemployment benefits, which expired on July 31. The HEALS Act does account for unemployment benefits, albeit at a much lower rate. Their proposal calls for individuals to receive $200 per week in unemployment benefits through September and then a transition to Americans receiving 70% of lost wages from their previous jobs. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle criticized this aspect of the HEALS Act.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was especially vocal about how she disapproved of that part of the HEALS Act. She told reporters, "Republicans in the Senate came back with a piecemeal approach. Clearly, they and perhaps the White House do not understand the gravity of the situation. This is a freight train that is picking up steam." Pelosi added, "They [Republicans] resent America's working families, getting the $600, which is essential to their needs. So they've offered $200."