WASHINGTON — It's a proposed second round of stimulus payments to states and American workers, and Democrats on Capitol Hill are working to push it through for a vote as early as Friday. It includes more direct payments to Americans and continues the boost to unemployment insurance laid out by the previous rescue package. The top Republican in Congress is expressing a desire to "hit pause" on the legislation.
The Heroes Act would deliver more payments to American workers and the economy. The bill has nearly $1 trillion set aside for cities, states and tribal governments in an effort to avert layoffs, as the Associated Press reports. In the proposed legislation, $375 billion has been allocated to smaller suburban and rural municipalities who were left out of earlier bills in large part.
The massive stimulus package, nearly 1,800 pages of text, has $200 billion in hazard pay built into it for essential workers on the front lines. Federal student loan forgiveness is also a highlight, along with cash injections for state and local governments. A $175 billion housing assistance fund has been added to help pay mortgages and rents, and $75 billion in additional funding is set aside for virus testing. Also, additional help to pay employer-backed health coverage is included.
Here's what individuals would receive:
The legislation works to offer a new series of $1,200 checks that would be direct cash aid for individuals.
As Forbes reports, that's $1,200 per person or $2,400 for those filing jointly. In addition to that, households would be eligible for $1,200 per dependent, with a maximum of 3. That's up to $6,000 per household, built into the bill.
If the legislation passes a vote, the $600-per-week bolstering of unemployment benefits to individuals would continue through January.
In addition to that, a 15% bump for food stamp recipients would also be available. For businesses, an employee retention tax credit is also included.
There are provisions in the bill to assist farmers, as well as extensions for family and medical leave which have been previously approved by Congress.
Speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, "We are presenting a plan to do what is necessary to address the corona crisis." She later told MSNBC that the need here is "monumental" to help Americans who are financially hurting because of the pandemic's extraordinary damage to the U.S. economy.
As CBS News reported, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said during a campaign live stream for President Donald Trump that he plans to "hit pause" on more coronavirus relief funds.