Once the COVID-19 outbreak hit U.S. soil, it quickly became evident that Americans would need some amount of financial relief to cope with widespread unemployment and income loss. The solution came in the form of the CARES Act, which called for a one-time, $1,200 stimulus payment that millions of Americans have received over the past two months.
But many people blew through that stimulus cash quickly, and with the jobless rate hanging tight in double-digit territory, it's clear that Americans need additional relief. Democratic lawmakers agree, and so they've introduced the HEROES Act, which calls for, among other provisions, a follow-up round of stimulus cash that's actually more generous than the first.
Under the CARES Act, stimulus payments were worth up to $1,200 per qualifying adult and up to $500 per qualifying child under the age of 17. Under the HEROES Act, stimulus checks will be worth $1,200 per qualifying individual, children included. And while that benefit maxes out at three children per household, it means some families could be in line for a $6,000 check if the HEROES Act passes a Senate vote.
Unfortunately, though, the latter is unlikely to happen. Republican lawmakers have been vocal in their opposition to the HEROES Act, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already come out and said that it's unlikely to pass in its current form.
Still, that doesn't mean the public should give up hope on a second stimulus package. In fact, news on a follow-up stimulus will likely be available in July, which would at least give desperate Americans something to look toward.
Is a second stimulus payment in the cards?
Critics of the HEROES Act have pointed to the fact that it's too expensive, and that with states easing restrictions and businesses opening back up, that level of aid isn't necessary. Still, that doesn't mean lawmakers won't come together on some type of relief package, albeit a less generous one, especially as the nation continues to grapple with a recession.
Furthermore, last week, McConnell himself came out and said that if a follow-up relief package is passed, that decision will be made in July. Granted, that doesn't mean stimulus checks will actually go out in July -- but if a relief package is decided upon next month, Americans could conceivably find themselves on the receiving end of a second stimulus payment by August, especially now that the IRS has a tool in place for non-tax-filers to register their banking details in order to get their money via direct deposit.
Of course, the amount of that second stimulus check is up for debate, and Americans shouldn't assume they'll receive $1,200 apiece (or more) like they did the first time around. Additionally, McConnell has expressly stated that if there is a second round of stimulus payments, recipients can count on it being the last one they get their hands on as they grappled with the COVID-19 crisis. That may not be the news desperate Americans want to hear, but a second and final stimulus check is still better than no additional relief at all.