House Democrats unveiled a revised version of their HEROES Act earlier this week. While the new bill would spend significantly less than the original $3.4 trillion package passed in May, it does include stimulus check 2.
The $2.2 trillion proposal, titled the HEROES Act like the original version, would send another $1,200 payment to low- and middle-income individuals who qualified for the first stimulus check. It would also provide an additional $500 per dependent, regardless of age, including college students and adults with disabilities. (The original HEROES Act provided $1,200 per dependent.)
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Just like the CARES Act that became law in March, the updated House bill would send $1,200 to individuals who earn less than $75,000 per year (if single) or $150,000 per year (if married).
Taxpayers earning up to $99,000 or $198,000, respectively, would receive a prorated amount. Families with dependents are likely to receive more money with stimulus check 2 — the CARES Act limited benefits to dependents under 17 years of age.
The updated HEROES Act also reinstates the $600 weekly federal unemployment-benefit supplement that expired at the end of July. CBS News reports that the payments would apply retroactively back to Sept. 6 and would continue through Jan. 31, 2021.
What's next for the stimulus bill?
While the new bill — along with resumed talks between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin — represents a step forward after nearly two months without progress, there’s already been pushback from Republicans in the House and indifference from the Senate GOP.
The White House made a counter-offer to the Democrats’ revised bill on Wednesday, which Pelosi has already said does not provide enough relief to garner House support.
The administration’s $1.6 trillion package does increase spending slightly (up from the White House's previous $1.5 trillion) and also provides a stimulus check 2. However, Mnuchin wouldn't guarantee to Fox Business Channel's Lou Dobbs that the amount would be $1,200 per qualifying individual, only that it would be "similar."
Mnuchin’s proposal would provide only $400 per week in federal unemployment benefits, dating them back to Sept. 12 and continuing through Jan. 1, 2021. As Roll Call reports, that’s less than what Democrats want but nonetheless $100 per week more than Senate Republicans have proposed.
While Pelosi and other Democratic leaders have previously expressed optimism about the possibility of consensus, there still seems to be an unbridgeable gap with the White House.
“We're not going to do a $2.2 trillion deal,” Mnuchin said Wednesday night.