By The Biz Team (Nicholas)
The second stimulus check's importance is undoubtedly one of the lifelines that most Americans have been waiting for during the pandemic. The unemployment rate has hit an all-time high, with most Americans losing their jobs and a cloud of uncertainty looms over the horizon. With the economic recession becoming a challenge for most individuals and businesses, the need for a second relief check may be the pivotal anchor that the United States needs to keep afloat.
Continued power struggles and political divides have become a problem in finding a solution to the already acute economic crisis in the U.S. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of Americans have become unemployed and risk losing their homes. Though the American people's fate lies in the hands of the leaders, the bipartisan struggle between different dynamics on how to enhance economic recovery has led to a partial pause providing the much-needed help required. If negotiations fail and so there is no agreement between the House Democrats and Senate Republicans, it might mean no second stimulus check for Americans.
What Is A Stimulus Check?
The CARES Act of March 2020 was passed to provide the economic assistance needed to millions of Americans who lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act provides guidelines for payment of money directly to the American people eligible for it.
What Do I Have To Do To Get A Second Stimulus Check?
If you receive the first stimulus check, then you are eligible for the second one. The eligibility of a stimulus check is determined by your 2018 or 2019 tax information.
Any single individual with an income up to $75,000 per year receives a stimulus check of $1,200. For married couples or individuals with a jointly earning of up to $150,000, they will receive a check of $2,400. Besides, a family with dependents will receive a $500 benefit per dependent regardless of their age.
However, the federal unemployment benefits have been reduced from $600 per week to $200. People earning more than $75,000, there has been a reduction in the stimulus check amount.
On the other hand, any American who does not have a high income and has not yet received a stimulus check can still get their much needed financial help by filing their 2018 or 2019 taxes by October 15, 2020.
What Is The Status Of The Second Stimulus Check?
Though the Democrats and Republicans have agreed on a second stimulus check plan, they have not yet agreed on the spending. With the Senate on recess until after Labor Day, doubt settling the dispute on the much-needed stimulus relief has been overwhelming. Since then, the two sides have been locking heads on which relief stimulus should be agreed upon.
The bipartisan negotiation deadlock may cause delays in delivering the second stimulus package if it manages to get passed.
Democrat's Second Stimulus Check Proposal
The House of Representatives passed a $3.4 trillion HEROS Act in May 2020. The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives proposed that individuals should receive a relief check of $1,200. However, unlike the CARES Act, families with three dependents would receive $1,200 for each dependent. These also acknowledge dependents as older children in college, children living with disabilities, or any adult or elderly individual living with the family.
Republican's Second Stimulus Check Proposal
On the other hand, in July 2020, the Senate Republicans introduced a $1 trillion HEALS Act as a countermeasure to the HEROS Act. The Republicans dismissed the Democrat's bill criticizing the $3 trillion budget, an extension of the federal unemployment insurance, and providing relief to local and state governments. The Senate has suggested a halt of all stimulus efforts until the full distribution of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act relief to all states.
The HEALS Act suggests the same eligibility and stimulus relief package criteria as the CARES Act.
Trump's Views on the Second Stimulus Checks
The president's views on the second stimulus checks have been vague and patchy. President Trump's decision to reopen businesses in all states and ease COVID-19 restrictions on business seems to support the congress agenda. It puts more pressure on the Democrats, derailing the need for a federal relief package. Besides, his support of the reopening and resumption of schools directly aligns with the controversial HEALS Act push to fund and resume in-person classes. Many Democrats, teachers, and parents have been against the proposal due to the high risk and spikes in the country's COVID-19 cases.
What Is The 'Skinny Bill'?
The deadlock between the Republicans and Democrats was further elevated after Senate Republicans introduced a 'skinny bill.' The bill suggested a smaller relief package that the $1 trillion HEALS Act. It created uproar in the already divided parties, making it harder for any agreement to be made. The bill pushes for an additional $10 billion for the U.S Postal Service and liability protection, extra money to funnel towards the Paycheck Protection Program, and an extra weekly unemployment benefit of $300.
What Is The Difference Between The First And Second Stimulus Check?
The main difference between the first and second stimulus check is the dependent benefits that you will receive. In the second stimulus check, an individual can receive a benefit of $500 per dependent regardless of their age. It will include young adults in college, the elderly, or individuals living with a disability. The first stimulus checks only provided benefits to dependents under the age of 17. For many American families, the second relief check would mean more money if they have older dependents.
When Can You Expect The Second Stimulus Check?
With the November elections around the corner and the Senate in recess, the timeline
for receiving the second stimulus check may be hard to pinpoint. With September 30, as the budget deadline, the two sides need to come to an understanding and pass the bill before then. Bridging the gap between the two parties has already proved difficult in the last few months; hopefully, the two sides can agree with the dispensation of funds required to save most unemployed Americans before the end of the fiscal year.