CORONAVIRUS

Second stimulus check: when is the HEROES Act being voted on?

To date the IRS has paid out over $218 billion in stimulus checks with payments being made by almost 110 million direct deposit money transfers and nearly 20 million paper checks.

New stimulus package: When is the Heroes Act being voted on?
Drew Angerer AFP

The new coronavirus relief package -- the HEROES Act -- consists of another $3 trillion in economic aid for hard-pushed American workers suffering as a result of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The 1,815-page bill is the only one of the several proposals put forward to make it to the congressional floor for a vote, and made it through the House of Representatives by a slim margin. It is now though expected to face massive opposition when it reaches the Republican dominated Senate.

Republican senators have described the bill as “dead on arrival” in the upper chamber, while its majority leader, Mitch McConnell, has dismissed the package as “another big laundry list of pet priorities”.

Nancy Pelosi says: "We’re putting our offer on the table, we’re open to negotiation." The house speaker is aware that the bill's passing is a long shot.

The HEROES Act would see Americans who qualify for a stimulus check receive $1,200 ($2,400 in the case of joint return) plus another $1,200 for every other dependent with a maximum of $3,600 and immigrants would retroactively receive the $1,200 payment they were denied under the CARES Act. With unemployment benefits possibly ending after July, this second stimulus check would come in very handy for struggling Americans.

Date for HEROES Act vote in the Senate?

Senate Republican representatives have dismissed the House's new stimulus bill as a non-starter after its release, initially stating that any future aid package would have to wait until after Memorial Day on 25 May.

"After the recess," Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican from Missouri, initially told reporters about further talks, while Republican Whip John Thune of South Dakota also indicated that the big May holiday was pivotal in the bill being discussed: "My guess is before the Memorial Day recess is unlikely, I don't think those are things you can do quickly. It will probably be part of a larger bill that will happen later."

Andrew Cuomo also turned up the heat on Trump and Republicans to pass the bill. “It’s about priorities, it’s about values,” he said. “Show the same consideration for the workers that you’ve showed for the corporations. That’s all I’m asking. This is not a partisan issue. It’s not Democrats or Republicans.”

Busy times | US President Donald Trump walks near protestors in Lafayette Park shielded by Secret Service agents during ongoing protests over racial inequality in the wake of the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody.

Now that the holiday is well behind us, dates are being considered for next steps. However, with the protests and riots on the back of the death of George Floyd having taken over state and government focus and complicating the situation, this may be delayed further. Far from a help to those who need the support.

On Tuesday, 2 June, Senator Roy Blunt, made it clear Republicans in the Senate were in no mood to rush to pass a second stimulus package, saying he felt that it was unlikely to happen in June, but that in his opinion it should happen before the August break.

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