Amid the U.S. and its residents dealing with political and racial unrest, the ongoing effects of the Covid-19 virus continue coming to light. Yes, many states have been able to start opening up its economies, though some with only limited services. Still, there are ongoing concerns about a potential second wave of infections raging through American cities and states.
For anyone out there who is wondering if the government has forgotten about the potential economic plight of the average American citizen, there is some good news coming out of Washington. Discussions about the potential of a second stimulus check are still sitting on the front burner.Read More »
Why the Wait?
It has been more than two months since the IRS began issuing the first round of stimulus checks. To date, approximately 150 million of a potential 180 million U.S. citizens have already received their payments under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which passed through Congress in Mid April. Note: the remaining payments are scheduled to go out as live checks or debit cards over the next two months.
Around the beginning of June, the House Democrats thought it was time to answer the virus pandemic economic fiasco. They did so by the bipartisan passing of what they called the HEROES Act. The new legislation was intended to, among other things, provide U.S. citizens with another round of $1,200 payments per adult, plus another $500 per dependent under 17 years of age.
After seeing what was in the HEROES Act legislation, the GOP led Senate made clear the new bill was “dead on arrival.” Why? Aside from what some Senators deemed as unnecessary “pork”, many concerns revolved around who was to be included in line to receive payments. Beyond U.S. taxpayers and Social Security recipients (senior citizens and disability recipients), the new bill also intended on authorizing payments to noncitizens and unauthorized residents, essentially anyone who is residing in the U.S. This was a nonstarter among conservative legislators.
Another concern coming out of the Senate has been issues related to whether a second stimulus is necessary. They wanted time to analyze the effects of the first $2.2 trillion stimulus payment to determine if a second wave made sense. They have also been looking for information about how to better direct another stimulus throughout the U.S. economy.
The Current Word Coming Out of Washington
Even with unemployment numbers dropping from a high of 14.7% at the beginning of May, it is clear Americans are suffering economic woes. It looks like many workers will not be returning to the workplace as many small businesses will be staying shuttered for good. It would be remiss to not also mention people are losing their businesses to the actions of protestors and rioters in the streets of major U.S. cities.
In answer to the nation’s economic concerns, President Donald Trump addressed the situation just this past Monday in front of reporters. He insinuated that Americans could indeed look forward to a second round of stimulus checks, which could be coming very soon.
It’s very possible President Trump made his comments in reaction to recent news there has been an uptick in Coronavirus cases. The unemployment numbers also came out, indicating as many as 1,500,000 American people have lost their jobs in the past couple of weeks. None of this is good news for an economy that desperately needs a boost.
How likely is a second stimulus now? Here are the words of Trump himself, “We will be doing another stimulus package,” Trump told a Scripps TV reporter as he addressed the press. “It will be very good.” Adding, “It’ll be very generous.”
While the President left out the details of a possible new stimulus, he did indicate the information could be forthcoming in the next couple of weeks. All of this comes on the heels of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell last week telling a reporter from the Herald-Dispatch in Kentucky, additional funds would “prioritize investing in future generations” and provide “liability protection for essential workers,”
Congressional leaders will need to show concern about pushing the U.S. debt totals any higher. At some point, America is going to have to deal with its debt issues. For now, Congress must find a way to get the economy rolling again. However, they want to make sure they get it right if they intend on paying out trillions more in stimulus payments to businesses and citizens.
This is what Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin, one of the leaders on the Senate Finance Committee, told The Hill just last month, “I’d like to take a look at all that aid we provided and get good economic information on the value for that, from the point of view of our economy but more importantly on fairness to people who are really hurt.”
He went on to add, “I think the next round we’ve got to be more targeted to those who are really in need. So, I hope we can target this a little bit better to those who have been hit hard because of COVID-19.”
Hopefully, the American people will be getting some good news out of Washington sometime around the middle of July. With all the nation is going through at this time, any announcement of a second stimulus could be exactly what people need to relieve the stress they are feeling on many levels.
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