Coronavirus

Second stimulus check: What's McConnell's proposal for CARES 2 Act?

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released a $1 trillion stimulus relief package proposal, the HEALS Act, that could be approved by the end of this week.

Second stimulus check: What's McConnell's proposal for CARES 2 Act?
ERIN SCOTT REUTERS

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that eight Republican senators will each introduce a component of the fourth and final stimulus relief package on Monday. The senators in charge of the bill are Chuck Grassley, Iowa; Lamar Alexander, Tennessee; Susan Collins, Maine; Marco Rubio, Florida; Richard Shelby, Alabama; Roy Blunt, Missouri; John Cornyn, Texas; and Mitt Romney, Utah.

Mitchell explained that the $1 trillion stimulus relief package will have three components and it is being called the HEALS Act. The three components that will be addressed in this new bill are: Education, the economy and health care.

Education

School districts in the United States are working on a plan that follows the health guidelines amid the coronavirus pandemic, so children can return in the beginning of fall semester. “We need as many K-12 schools, colleges, and universities as possible to be safely welcoming students this fall,” McConnell said. “So, Chairman Alexander, Chairman Shelby and Chairman Blunt are finalizing an ambitious package of funding and policy to help our schools reopen.”

The Economy

Under CARES 2 it is not known who qualifies or how much money is going to be sent, but McConnell said that there will be a second round of stimulus checks that will be sent by the IRS. Senator Grassley is in charge of explaining the second round of direct payments to be sent to American households.

Also under this new bill there will be some form of federal supplement to unemployment insurance, but it will not continue the $600 weekly federal unemployment payments that were included in the first CARES Act and are set to expire on 31 July.

Health Care

The third component to be discussed in this bill is health care. There will be additional resources to the health care system, along with more money for vaccines and testing. CARES 2 will include funds that will “leave us with better surge capacity to produce medical countermeasures right here at home the next time a crisis strikes,” said McConnell.

CARES 2 will also include a liability protection for health care workers, schools, churches, nonprofits and businesses. Senator Romney will present this part of the bill and seniors would be protected from a spike in Medicare premiums due to the pandemic.