The devastation caused by COVID-19 is absolutely unprecedented, and this is true whether we’re talking about lives lost or the economic impact.
Fortunately, the federal government took some bold steps on both fronts. Lockdowns were put in place in order to “flatten the curve” of coronavirus, which we have managed to do with relative success.
The government also took steps to protect Americans from financial ruin, including the passage of the CARES Act.
This act came with an array of benefits that included forgivable loans for small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) as well as tax credits for businesses who were able to retain employees.
Economic stimulus payments were another largely popular component of the CARES Act. Americans whose incomes fell under generous thresholds ($75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for couples) were targeted for this relief, which was built to offer $3,400 for an average family of four.
But, was the first round of stimulus checks enough? It may have been at the time, but some believe it’s time to roll out more financial help for American families.
The CARES Act passed on March 27, 2020, after all, and most people received their stimulus checks in April or May. June has come and gone since then and many states are reporting a rapid surge in cases of COVID-19. Some areas of the country are even having to roll back their reopenings, potentially leaving more people out of work or dealing with limited hours and pay.
Is Another Stimulus Check On Its Way?
Interestingly, the already proposed Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES Act) would provide more financial payments to Americans in addition to other types of economic relief. This act was already passed by the Democrat-controlled house, but it must get through the Republican-controlled Senate when a vote comes around.
If the HEROES Act were to ever pass, families could receive up to $6,000 in payments per household. Individuals earning up to $75,000 would get a $1,200 check, and couples who earn up to $150,000 would get double that amount. Families could then receive another $1,200 per dependent for up to three dependents.
Unfortunately, Republicans have described the bill as “dead on arrival” due to other components of the bill, including a provision that would extend stimulus payments to undocumented immigrants.
Unfortunately, no one can say for sure if another stimulus is coming or what it might look like. However, The Washington Post reports that President Trump has told his aides he is “largely supportive of sending Americans another round of stimulus checks, expressing the belief that the payments will boost the economy and help his chances at reelection in November.”
Last week in an interview with National Political Editor Joe St. George, the President even when on to say there would be a another stimulus package that would be “very generous”.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also said earlier in June that the White House was considering a second round of stimulus payments, but that it is too early to speculate exactly on what would be included in the package.
Other Relief to Watch Out For
With the additional $600 in weekly unemployment payments some Americans are receiving scheduled to end on July 31, 2020, many Americans are patiently waiting to find out if any new assistance is on its way.
Recently, Senate leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was reported as saying that the next stimulus package will not extend unemployment benefits any further. Instead, Americans may see some kind of “back-to-work” bonus, which will be awarded to citizens who are able to get back to work, find a new job, or otherwise find ways to earn income.
What would this back-to-work bonus look like? There are several proposals floating around, which include:
- A $450 weekly payment through the end of July 2020: This was proposed by Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), and the additional payment would come on top of your regular paycheck.
- A $1,200 back-to-work bonus, which would be paid out in two installments of $600. This option was proposed by Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX), and it would also be offered in addition to regular pay.
Both of these proposals are geared specifically to those on unemployment who are able to go back to work and begin earning an income. With that in mind, this type of stimulus would only help a certain portion of workers and certainly not everyone.
The Bottom Line
If you’re hoping and praying that more help is on the way, it appears the likelihood of Americans receiving more financial help is improved compared to a few months ago. Republicans seem to be coming around to the idea of another stimulus check or a back-to-work bonus, which is a positive sign.
And with President Trump down in the polls, moving forward with more payments to Americans could make it easier for him to keep his job come November. That’s why many feel that a second stimulus check is all but inevitable.
Still, you shouldn’t bet the farm on another stimulus payment coming your way, especially since it could be months until anything could pass. In the meantime, put your head down and try to earn and save money where you can. Stimulus or not, you’re going to need it.