The House passed a $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package on Thursday evening, adding additional pressure on Republicans and the White House to make a deal on new pandemic legislation before Congress is expected to take a recess until mid-November amid election season.
The Democratic-controlled House voted 214 to 207— largely along party lines — to pass the bill, which is a scaled-down version of the $3.4 trillion HEROES Act that was passed in May but was never taken up by the Senate.
The updated HEROES Act provides another round of stimulus payments of up to $1,200 to individuals earning an adjusted gross income of up to $75,000 and $2,400 for couples earning up to $150,000, as well as an additional $500 per dependent, which includes full-time students below age 24 and adult dependents.
This gives many people hope as they still struggle with the Impacts of COVID-19.
The new legislation restores the $600 weekly enhanced federal unemployment payments through January 2021. Democrats also aim to provide a transition period at the end of January 2021 to prevent unemployment benefits from abruptly ending before March 31.
The bill also extends the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which specifically covers business owners, self-employed Americans, gig workers, and independent contractors who are not typically eligible for unemployment, through January 2021.
“In a family of four, this is a lifeline for workers and families who are facing this coronavirus disaster. For a family of four earning $24,000, Heroes 2 would mean direct payments, a $3,400 direct payment; unemployment benefits, $600 per week enhanced UI benefits; tax credits, up to $5,920 through the EITC, and a fully refundable $4,000 [Child] Tax Credit, equaling additional $1,200 in refunds,” Pelosi said.
Democrats earmarked $225 billion for education in the latest relief package. A large part of that funding includes $182 billion for K-12 schools and $39 billion for higher education, including colleges and universities.