The debate and discussion about the next round of coronavirus relief has brought predictions on stimulus check amounts from President Donald Trump, federal economic experts and legislators on both sides of the aisle.
Republicans and Democrats have contended that a bill should be in place to relieve those struggling to secure employment or challenged by dwindling income and businesses across industries attempting to survive during a shaky economic climate several months into the coronavirus pandemic. A decision is expected soon if the two parties can settle their differences on provisions in the coronavirus relief package.
Top-ranking Democrats and Trump administration officials met Saturday to discuss how to move the bill forward, according to Newsweek. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters Sunday that his office could be swift in printing the much-anticipated stimulus checks if a decision is made Monday or this week.
“I could have them out immediately,” Mnuchin said. “If I could get it passed tomorrow, I could start printing them the following week. I could get out 50 million payments really quickly.”
A group of Republican senators put some wheels in motion on the coveted stimulus checks via a new bill Thursday, which proposes $1,000 per check. The bill suggests the government send out less than the previous checks, which were on average about $1,200. Previously, Republican and Democratic proposals have called for $1,200 checks to adults and $500 to dependents.
The twist for the suggested new bill is that the $1,000 checks would be sent to more Americans than before. Citizens regardless of age or dependent status would receive the $1,000 checks, according to a release sent from the office of Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-Louisiana.
“Much of the burden of the pandemic has fallen on parents and children. This legislation prioritizes their needs by providing resources for school supplies, childcare, and other unexpected expenses,” Cassidy said in a statement.
The bill is called the Coronavirus Assistance for American Families Act. It was proposed by Cassidy, Steve Daines, R-Montana, Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and Marco Rubio, R-Florida.
The Coronavirus Assistance for American Families Act would:
- Disburse Economic Impact Payments of $1,000 for adults and children with SSNs equally, $2,000 if filing jointly. A family of four would receive $4,000.
- Require eligibility for adult dependents, including those with disabilities or college students.
- Offer eligibility for U.S. citizens married to foreign nationals but does not include eligibility for foreign nationals or ITIN filers.
“With schools moving children to online learning from home, families in Utah and across the country have experienced unexpected challenges and additional costs for supplies during the last several months,” Romney said in a statement “As we consider additional relief measures, we should prioritize families by providing them with resources to help with the extra expenses they face as a result of COVID-19.”
The president touted checks being at least $1,200 per American while speaking at a campaign event in Texas Wednesday.
“I’d like to see it be very high because I love the people, I want the people to get it, you know, the economy is going to come back,” Trump said. “We saved millions of lives, but now we’re bringing (the economy) back … We gotta take care of the people in the meantime.”
The next round of payments is still up for vote and will depend on a deal being reached between the Senate and House, which has proved to be challenging the last few weeks. Time to reach a deal is ticking. Unless it’s extended, this session of the Senate ends Aug. 7.
To learn more about the Coronavirus Assistance for American Families Act, click here. To read bill text, click here.