The devastation caused by COVID-19 is unprecedented, and this is true whether we are talking about lost lives or the economic impact.
Fortunately, the federal government took some bold steps on both fronts. Blockages were established to “flatten the curve” of the 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 law came with a number of benefits that included forgivable small business loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), as well as tax credits for companies that were able to retain employees.
Economic stimulus payments were another very popular component of the CARES Act. Americans whose incomes fell below generous thresholds ($ 75,000 for individuals and $ 150,000 for couples) were targeted by 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 is time to roll out more financial aid for American families.
The CARES Act was passed on March 27, 2020, after all, and most people received its stimulus checks in April or May. June has come and gone since then and many states report a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases. Some areas of the country even have to reverse their reopens, which could leave more people jobless or deal with limited hours and wages.
Is another stimulus control on the way?
Interestingly, the proposed omnibus health and economic recovery emergency solutions (HEROES Act) would provide more financial payments to Americans in addition to other types of financial aid. This law has already been passed by the Democrat-controlled chamber, but must go through the Republican-controlled Senate when a vote is held.
If the HEROES Act were passed, families could receive up to $ 6,000 in household payments. People who win up to $ 75,000 would get a check for $ 1,200, and couples who win up to $ 150,000 would get double that amount. Families could 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 expand stimulus payments to undocumented immigrants.
Unfortunately, no one can say for sure if another stimulus is coming or what it will look like. However, The Washington Post reports that President Trump told his aides that “he is very supportive of sending Americans another round of stimulus checks, expressing the belief that the payments will boost the economy and help their chances of reelection. in November”.
Last week in an interview with national political editor Joe St. George, the president, even when he said there would be another stimulus package that would be “very generous.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also said in early June that the White House was considering a second round of stimulus payments, but that it is too early to speculate on exactly what would be included in the package.
Another relief to consider
With the additional $ 600 in weekly unemployment payments that some Americans are receiving and ending on July 31, 2020, many Americans are waiting patiently to see if any new assistance is on the way.
Recently, it was reported that Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that the upcoming stimulus package will no longer extend unemployment benefits. Instead, Americans may see some kind of “return to work” bonus, which will be awarded to citizens who can return to work, find a new job, or find ways to earn an income.
What would this return to work bonus look like? There are several proposals floating around, including:
- A weekly payment of $ 450 until the end of July 2020: This was proposed by Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), and the additional payment would be added to your regular paycheck.
- A $ 1,200 return to work bonus, to be paid in two installments of $ 600. This option was proposed by Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX), and would also be offered in addition to the regular payment.
Both proposals are specifically aimed at unemployed people who can return to work and start earning an income. With that in mind, this type of encouragement would only help a certain portion of workers and certainly not all.
The bottom line
If you wait and pray that more aid is on the way, it appears that the likelihood that Americans will receive more financial aid has improved compared to a few months ago. Republicans seem to be turning to the idea of another stimulus check or a return-to-work bonus, which is a positive sign.
And with President Trump in the polls, moving forward with more payments to Americans could make it easier for him to keep his job in November. That is why many feel that a second stimulus check is almost inevitable.
Still, you shouldn’t bet the farm on another stimulus payment, especially since it could be months until something can happen. Meanwhile, lower your head and try to earn and save money where you can. Encouragement or not, you’re going to need it.