On Monday, Senate Republicans unveiled their response to the Democrat-controlled House’s COVID-19 stimulus plan.
The Republicans’ $1 trillion HEALS Act has not yet passed the Senate, but the proposal would provide a second injection of cash into the bank accounts of millions of eligible Americans and lawful permanent resident aliens.
In late March, President Donald Trump signed a $2 trillion economic security package that provided $1200 Economic Impact Payments for eligible recipients, strengthened unemployment insurance benefits and provided forgivable loans to struggling businesses.
The HEALS Act or Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools Act would provide a second $1200 Economic Impact Payment and $200 supplemental payments for weeks of unemployment through September. In October the $200 payment would be replaced by another payment of up to $500 dollars.
The CARES act provided $600 per week in supplemental unemployment insurance benefits through July 2020.
“When combined with the state UI payment, (the October payment) would replace 70% of lost wages—either via a formula specified in the bill or by a state proposing an alternative method and receiving approval from the Secretary,” a Senate Committee on Finance statement read.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell claimed the second round of checks would provide more support for families “who care for vulnerable adult dependents,” in a statement released on Monday.
The House’s $3 trillion HEROES plan would continue the $600 unemployment insurance supplements through January 2021. It would also provide a more generous $1200 payment per dependant, up to $6000 per household, compared to $500 per dependant of any age under the HEALS Act.
The HEALS act would provide payments for individuals “who have no income, as well as those whose income comes entirely from non-taxable means-tested benefit programs, such as (Supplemental Security Income) benefits,” according to the Senate Committee on Finance statement.
Under the HEROES act, full-time students up to age 24 and adults can be considered dependants.
Both plans, like the CARES Act, require income tax returns to determine eligibility.
“I voted for the Heroes Act in May because it provides the comprehensive relief that our country and our community needs right now. It’s disappointing that Senate Republicans put forward a plan that falls short of what’s necessary to address this crisis, contain the virus, reopen safely, and ensure Central Coast residents can provide for their families throughout this pandemic,” Democrat Representative Salud Carbajal of Santa Barbara said.
“Americans are facing evictions, expiring unemployment insurance, a lack of access to child care, and so much more. I’m hopeful we reach a bipartisan compromise as soon as possible to bring desperately needed relief to Americans who are suffering,” Mr. Carbajal said.
According to MarketWatch, the HEROES act forbids debt collectors from garnishing stimulus payments. It also contains language that prevents the Internal Revenue Service from offsetting stimulus payments for past-due child support.