CORONAVIRUS

Second stimulus check: when will Senate vote on the HEROES Act?

With millions of Americans still in need of financial support through the coronavirus pandemic, the question is over when a second payment will be voted on.

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

Several proposals for a second relief package for Americans have been put forward but only one of them has moved through the legislative process. The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act consists of another $3 trillion in economic aid for those workers suffering as a result of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

It's a 1,815-page bill with far-reaching demands, but despite just making it through a vote in the House of Representatives it is expected to face massive opposition when it reaches the Republican dominated Senate. We do have an idea of how a second package could play out in terms of payments.

HEROES "DOA"

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. 

Trillions | President Donald Trump has big decisions ahead as the Senate considers voting on a second relief package.

Trillions | President Donald Trump has big decisions ahead as the Senate considers voting on a second relief package.

When will the senate vote on the HEROES Act?

Initially we heard a number of Republican senators pushing the idea of a vote back to after Memorial Day on 25 May. "After the recess," Sen. Roy Blunt, from Missouri said, and this was backed up by Republican Whip, John Thune of South Dakota, who stated: "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."

New York's Andrew Cuomo tried to add pressure to President 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.”

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. We also heard the US National Economic Council Director, Larry Kudlow, say that it wouldn't be considered until after the 4 July celebrations.

But now that the holiday is well behind us, a date for next steps is still uncertain. The protests and riots on the back of the death of George Floyd having taken over state and government focus thus complicating the situation. We look at the factors that could affect how, and if, it is to get approval.

Live coverage of the coronavirus crisis

You can follow the latest developments in the coronavirus pandemic dedicated to the United States with our blog. We also have live rolling news on the aftermath of the George Floyd killing.