CORONAVIRUS

Second stimulus check: $1,200, $2,000 or $6,000 - how much would it be?

As part of the HEROES Act, which passed the House but still requires Senate approval, people in the US would get a second coronavirus Economic Impact Payment.

Second stimulus check: $1,200, $2,000 or $6,000 - how much is it?
SAUL LOEB AFP

As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been sending out Economic Impact Payments to millions of qualifying Americans since April, in a bid to help them cope with the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, which passed the vote of the US House of Representatives, is proposing a second batch of stimulus checks that would offer increased support to parents, by more than doubling the amount they would receive per child.

$1,200 each, up to $6,000 for families with children

Like the CARES Act, the HEROES Act would give individuals earning up to $75,000 annually a one-time, non-taxable check for $1,200. However, whereas the first round of payments included an extra $500 per family for every child aged 16 or under, this additional credit would now rise to $1,200 each for a maximum of three dependents, allowing households to claim up to $6,000.

It's also worth noting that, unlike the CARES Act, the HEROES Act does not exclude dependents aged 17 or over.

$600 unemployment benefits boost maintained

The HEROES Act would also maintain the $600 sum that the CARES Act added on to unemployment claimants’ weekly benefits, extending this measure until 2021.

$2,000 monthly stimulus payment idea was suggested

Democrats had put forward the idea of upping the stimulus-check amount from $1,200 and making the payments monthly, but these proposals met with fierce Republican opposition, with the congressman Steve Scalise railing against the pushing of "radical socialist ideas that have consistently been rejected".

In April, Representatives Tim Ryan and Ro Khanna introduced the Emergency Money for the People Act, which sought to provide Americans over 16 with $2,000 a month for at least six months if they earned less than $130,000 a year.

Another similar proposal was the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act, which was tabled by Senators Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and Ed Markey, and would have involved monthly checks of $2,000 up until three months after the pandemic ends.

Republican opposition to HEROES Act

Having been approved by the House, the HEROES Act must now get through the Republican-controlled Senate - but, amid stiff GOP opposition to the bill, it faces an uphill battle to do so.

Indeed, the proposed legislation has been described by the White House and Republican senators as "dead on arrival", while the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, has dismissed the package as a “partisan wish list with no chance of becoming law”.

“Let me state the obvious,” said John Barrasso, a senator from Wyoming, meanwhile. “What [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi is proposing will never pass the Senate."

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