Earlier today, the Senate passed a $484 billion bipartisan bill to supplement the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
What Were The Initial Stimulus Payments?
The CARES Act included many components including direct stimulus checks to Americans. These payments, which the Treasury Department started disbursing last week to individuals who qualified, were a one-time remittance of:
- $1,200 for individuals
- $2,400 for married couples
- $500 for each dependent child 16-years-old or younger
Additional Second Stimulus Check Proposals:
There have been several proposals floating around Congress to provide Americans with financial relief in light of the economic impact caused by coronavirus. The most widely circulated was the Emergency Money for the People Act introduced by Tim Ryan and Ro Khanna. Their proposal would have provided additional and ongoing payments with qualifying Americans receiving a $2,000 monthly payment for up to 12 months. Eligibility for the $2,000 stimulus check would depend on age, filing status, and income:
- If you are single, your income is less than $130,000, and you are over the age of 16, you would receive $2,000 per month;
- If you are married and your income is less than $260,000, you would receive at least $4,000 per month;
- If you have dependent children, you would receive an additional $500 payment per child each month, capped at three children.
Does The Bill Include Additional Stimulus Payments To Individuals?
Unfortunately, the $484 billion bill passed by the Senate does not include provisions for additional stimulus checks for individuals.
Instead, the bill focused on replenishing the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which is aimed at small businesses and offers guarantees for forgivable loans if the majority of the money is used to retain employees. Lawmakers scrambled to pass the bill after the initial PPP funding from the CARES Act was quickly depleted.
Here’s the breakdown of the $484 billion:
- $320 billion: the vast majority of the funds in the new Senate bill, would replenish the Paycheck Protection Program;
- $60 billion: would be allocated to the Small Business Administration’s disaster relief fund;
- $75 billion: would be made available for hospitals;
- $25 billion: would go towards coronavirus testing
While the bill has only passed the Senate, the House is expected to vote and pass the bill on Thursday. President Trump has signaled that he will sign it.
While the bill won bipartisan support, there was disagreement among Senate leaders about what would come next. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was already laying the groundwork for additional measures. “I’d remind my colleagues this is an interim measure,” Schumer said. “There’s plenty of hard-won provisions that we Democrats are pleased with but it’s ultimately a building block. In the weeks ahead Congress must prepare another major bill similar in size and ambition to the Cares Act. The next bill must be big and bold and suited to the needs of a beleaguered nation.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (L) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
However, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell struck a different tone. He told The Washington Post that it was time to “push the pause button” on additional spending legislation.” Those hoping for additional stimulus payments are out of luck with the most recently bill.
Further Coronavirus-Related Reading: