CORONAVIRUS

Stimulus check: has second coronavirus relief payment been approved yet?

The $3tn HEROES Act includes a second Economic Impact Payment to help people cope with the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic in the US.

Second stimulus check: has it been passed & signed by Trump?
KEVIN DIETSCH / POOL EFE

Unveiled by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi earlier in May, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act is a $3-trillion coronavirus relief bill whose measures include giving eligible Americans a second stimulus check to help them cope with the financial effects of the pandemic.

The fresh round of Economic Impact Payments proposed by the Democrat-backed HEROES Act would see those in the United States who earn less than $75,000 a year receive a one-time, non-taxable check for $1,200, while households with dependents would be able to claim a total of up to $6,000.

HEROES Act has passed House of Representatives

The HEROES Act was passed by the House of Representatives just over a week ago - winning the vote by margin of 208 to 199 - but before being signed into law, the bill must now get through the Senate, the upper chamber of the US Congress, and then receive the approval of the president, Donald Trump.

Trump can veto the proposed legislation, a course of action which could then be overruled by the bill going back to Congress and achieving a two-thirds majority in both the House and the Senate.

Bill facing battle to pass the Senate

However, the HEROES Act faces an uphill battle to make it to Trump’s desk, with Republicans in the GOP-controlled Senate balking at the overall cost of a package that also features provisions such as funding for state and local governments, hazard pay for frontline workers, student-debt relief and added unemployment benefits.

Indeed, both Trump and Republican senators have dismissed the bill as "dead on arrival" at the upper house, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell branding it a "partisan wish list with no chance of becoming law".

And even if the HEROES Act does make it through the Senate, the White House has signaled its intention to exercise the presidential power of veto.

Americans may well get some form of second check

Trump does seem open to the idea of Americans receiving some kind of second check in the future, though. "I think we're going to be helping people out" and "getting some money for them", the president said on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Roy Blunt, a Republican senator from Missouri, has conceded that the US is going to require another stimulus package of some sort. "We don't know when or exactly how big," he said, "but I think everybody believes that there will be future things we have to do to get the economy back."

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