CORONAVIRUS

Second stimulus check: the White House would support a second round of payments

The White House are likely to approve another round of stimulus checks to aid the US' flagging economy, but have voiced opposition to the $3 trillion HEROES Act bill.

Second stimulus check: the White House would support a second round of payments
Graeme Jennings/ POOL EFE

This week’s unemployment figures from the United States made worrying reading - the coronavirus pandemic has caused millions of Americans to lose their job with the figure rising to 33.5 million people currently out of work.

Many of those who have been made redundant have been given a helping hand through the CARES ACT programme, receiving stimulus checks to keep them going until things improve. Originally, the stimulus checks were designed to be a one-off payment but the US government is realising that many citizens may need more help when the money runs out.

Plans for more relief aid in the United States

Lawmakers have put forward six proposals for a second round of stimulus aid to help local government, frontline workers and those who cannot make ends meet. One of the proposals is for a second round of stimulus checks to be sent out, an idea which would likely be backed by the White House.

The White House did not provide further comment on their stance or give details about when a second round of stimulus checks might go ahead but said in a statement: “As President Trump has said, we are going to ensure that we take care of all Americans so that we emerge from this challenge healthy, strong, and with economic prosperity, which is why the White House is focused on pro-growth, middle class tax and regulatory relief.”

HEROES Act approved by House of Representatives

On Friday, the US House of Representatives approved legislation for the HEROES Act (Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions) - a $3 trillion bill for a second relief package which would follow on from the $2.2 trillion CARES Act signed off in March. It proposes to give $1 trillion to state and local governments and a further $200 billion in payments to essential frontline workers. The 1,815-page bill also includes a new round of direct payments to Americans to help stimulate the economy. It narrowly passed the House on a vote of 208 to 199 but Republicans, who control the Senate, have opposed it, saying I will have “no chance of moving forward” even though they are in support of some parts of the bill, such as providing state and local governments with additional funding.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said that voting on a new, bipartisan coronavirus bill would take place in the final week of May with 27th-28th the most likely date.