Coronavirus

Second stimulus check: Democrats announce $3 trillion coronavirus aid package

The Dems proposed $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill includes funding for state and local governments and more direct stimulus payments for Americans during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Second stimulus check: Democrats announce $3 trillion coronavirus aid package
POOL REUTERS

Another round of $1,200 stimulus checks to help cope with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. That's what the Dems are looking for, as they publish their latest economic relief package, with a total budget of $3 trillion.

The CARES Act, signed into law by President Donald Trump back in March, provided for $2.3 trillion of aid to help the American economy cope with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. For hard hit Americans one of the most important measures was direct stimulus payments of up to $1,200 to individuals who earn less than $99,000.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has now sent more than 130 million stimulus check payments, and talk has focused on whether there will be a second round of payments to help  the millions of Americans who are struggling because of the outbreak.

Democrats want more help for the US economy and more direct payments to individuals

Democrats have made it clear they favour another large round of help for the economy with further direct payments to individuals in the form of stimulus checks and today, Tuesday, House Democrats, led by speaker Nancy Pelosi announced their plans for a another round of stimulus legislation, worth some $3 trillion, called the Heroes Act.

“I think that there’s an opportunity here for us because this bill is only centered on the coronavirus. All these provisions have had provenance in our former four bills that passed in a bipartisan way... All of them are supported by Democrats and Republicans across the country,” said Pelosi. However the reality is that Republicans are not yet supportive of these plans, and if Pelosi and the Democrats are unable to change their minds, the Heroes Act will go nowhere.

Donald Trump, asked about the package on Wednesday at the White House, said: "It was DOA. Dead on arrival. And Nancy Pelosi knew that."

Democrats' Heroes Act includes a second round of $1,200 stimulus checks

The $3 trillion spending package includes funding for state and local governments, billions more for health-care and testing purposes and another round of $1,200 stimulus check payments to qualifying Americans.

As it stands the 1,800 page draft bill would be the most expensive one in a series of bills passed to address both the Covid-19 outbreak and its economic effect.

In addition to the stimulus checks, the Heroes Act would provide for: almost $875 billion for state and local governments, $200 billion in hazard pay for certain essential workers, $75 billion to expand Covid-19 testing and contact tracing and $100 billion for rental assistance among other things.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who is not keen any more relief spending at the moment, called the package “another big laundry list of pet priorities.”

This bill is being floated as many states prepare to reopen their economies, despite the pandemic still being very far from completely controlled, with Republicans now generally believing that a restarted economy is a better economic fix for the hardships brought by the coronavirus than direct payments from government.

In terms of direct help for individuals, the right are beginning to pivot to the idea of an opt-in $5,000 loan scheme.

Dems want second round of stimulus payments

The bill provides a second round of stimulus payment of $1,200 to millions of Americans who have been affected by the outbreak and would in fact increase the maximum amount to $6,000 for households with dependent children.

Were the Heroes Act to be passed, not only would people will receive a second round of stimulus checks but also those who are receiving unemployment money would have that extended through January and the $600 per week in additional benefits would go through July.

No recurring monthly payments of $2,000

The Democrats' proposals do not however include an idea that seemed to have been picking up steam recently: recurring monthly payments of $2,000. Instead the direct stimulus check payments would be limited to one more round of the $1,200 check.