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Wednesday, December 2, 2020

New Heroes Act Comprising Stimulus Checks and Unemployment Benefits Comes Into Play

To aid nearly 20 million Americans who have lost their jobs due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the House of Representatives has issued a stimulus package consisting of stimulus checks and increased unemployment benefits. The package falls under the revised version of the Heroes Act and is worth $2.2 trillion.

The Heroes Act 2.0 legislation is not a law by nature. Meanwhile, it came into being the same day that Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker, held talks with the lead stimulus check negotiator of the White House and the Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to agree on a bipartisan economic rescue bill. 

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Although an agreement wasn’t reached, negotiations are still on which paves the way for the aid being released before the 3rd November elections.

As per the congressional reporter of The Washington Post, Pelosi has decided to re-examine “some documents Mnuchin sent over” to avoid agreeing to any foul play in the deal. The recent offer by the White House is known to be $1.62 trillion. But what does another set of stimulus checks mean? Here’s what you need to know:

When Can Heroes Act 2.0 Be Passed?

On Thursday, Pelosi specified that the vote on the Heroes 2.0 that will give way to another set of stimulus checks has no connection with the ongoing negotiations with Mnuchin. 

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If Heroes Act 2.0 is to become a law, it needs to go through the Senate, which is highly improbable and requires the signature of President Donald Trump. 

However, if a new proposal is worked upon by Mnuchin and Pelosi, it would require separate drafting. It would also require voting in the Senate and the House before pronouncing it a law. The key points of the package have been its cost and fund allocation like a child tax credit.

Why Did The House Vote Amidst The Ongoing Negotiations?

The partisan vote is considered to act as a cover for House Democrats since they continue campaigning without a new relief bill. The situation is similar to that of earlier this month when the Senate acted in the same way for the Republican members with its skinny bill worth $650. However, it is expected that the new proposal will not pass the Senate. 

The two parties laid out proposals that included the issuance of the second set of stimulus checks of $1200 for eligible individuals. Other proposals included funding for the airline industry, testing for coronavirus, and extension of the Paycheck Protection Program for businesses.

HEROES act
New Heroes Act Comprising Stimulus Checks and Unemployment Benefits Comes Into Play 2

When Can You Expect The Second Stimulus Check?

As the House is about to break after Friday’s session and the Senate is dissolving the coming week, negotiators are falling short of time in chalking out a new package for stimulus checks before the day of the election.

According to Politico, if both sides reach an agreement, it could still take a week or more for it to be voted on. 

However, if an agreement is not reached within a week, passing a bill before the elections seem doubtful considering that the Presidential candidate- Donald Trump, the one responsible for signing the bill and Democratic nominee, Joe Biden will get busy with campaigning.  

Can The President Opt For Executive Actions If The Negotiations Fail?

US President Donald Trump signed one executive order and three memoranda the next day after the initial talks caved in on 7th August. If the negotiation on the second set of stimulus checks attempts fails prior to the election, executive orders can be expected. However, there has been no follow-up on the declaration made by Trump that his administration might go for another executive order to steer clear of Congress.

The present executive actions of Trump, related to Coronavirus relief talk about the sluggish evictions, the extension of unemployment benefits, and delaying payroll taxes until next year. 

What About Resuming Negotiation For Stimulus Checks And The Package After The Elections?

If the negotiations fail to fetch any outcome, the authorities will lay their eyes on the period post-election and before the inauguration of the President on 20th January 2021. According to congressional Democrats and Pelosi, a better deal could be made in 2021 based on the election results. 

In the November elections, all the 470 seats in the US Congress comprising 35 Senate seats and all 435 House seats are up for a vote. If there are major changes in the House, Senate, or the Presidency, the passing of certain laws will be affected.

Why Not Pass Standalone Bills?

Even if an agreement is reached and the new bill concerning the stimulus checks fail in the Senate, bills targeting specific areas could be passed. According to a few heads in Washington, narrower bills focusing on particular areas like the entertainment or the airline industries could be introduced. However, that’s improbable to happen pre-elections. 

An attempt was made by the Senate Republicans to deliver relief to America’s Families, Schools, and Small Businesses Act which failed in the Senate. A piecemeal bill was also put forward by the House. The bill sought to provide financial aid to the US postal service. The bill was introduced keeping in mind the Americans who are uncertain about in-person voting and would prefer voting by mail.

At present, the passing of Heroes Act 2.0 is questionable. With negotiations being on loose and elections hanging over the head, one can only wait for the second set of stimulus checks to make their way into their bank accounts.

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