Coronavirus is having an unprecedented financial impact, not only for the businesses but for individuals as well. The first round of stimulus checks, under the CARES Act, proved to be a savior for many who were finding it difficult to meet their basic needs. Though the businesses are now starting to reopen, for many not much has changed since the first stimulus package. Thus, they are waiting eagerly for the Congress to approve coronavirus stimulus round two.
Ed Markey proposes up to $2,000 monthly payment
So far, we have seen several proposals for the second stimulus package, and most have promised a direct payment to the Americans of up to $1,200. However, Senator Ed Markey is calling for monthly stimulus checks of up to $2,000 per person and $2,000 for up to three dependents per family, regardless of age.
“I joined Senators Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders to introduce the Monthly Crisis Support Act, which would provide recurring monthly direct cash payments so that Americans have the support they need to get through this crisis,” Markey wrote in the Boston Globe.
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Markey proposes to give stimulus checks to anyone that earns below $120,000 per year. Further, the Senator says that the stimulus checks would continue through the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Senator Markey, his proposal would offer about $600 billion per month to American households, or more than twice than the CARES Act. The CARES Act, which was passed in March, gave a one-time $1,200 cash payment to most Americans.
The CARES Act blocked undocumented immigrants from getting the stimulus payment. However, Markey’s proposal promises to give payment to immigrant families using their Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).
“Every US resident receives a payment to ensure that no one falls through the cracks,” the Senator said.
Recurring monthly payments: the most effective way
According to Ed Markey, recurring monthly payments is the most efficient and direct way to ensure that the economic relief reaches those who need it the most, such as low-income families, gig and service workers and immigrant communities.
Markey wrote in the Boston Globe that the coronavirus pandemic has exposed the social inequities that have long been existed.
“From disparities in who has access to testing and treatment, to who has the ability to work from home, this crisis is a glaring reminder that we have a long way to go in this country when it comes to social and economic justice,” Senator Markey said.
Ed Markey indicated that the stimulus checks would ensure that working families and those who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic are able to trust that their government is there to support them in such testing times.
Coronavirus stimulus round two: when to expect?
Several officials have talked about the need of the second relief package. “Bills are piling up, rent is due, millions are jobless. A one-time $1,200 check won’t cut it,” read a recent tweet from Senator Sanders. “We need to provide $2,000 a month to every man, women and child — and make it retroactive to cover the past three months.”
Congressional leaders and White House advisers are expected to discuss the benefits of the next stimulus payments. However, any news on the next stimulus payments is expected to arrive next month only.
Most Republicans want to go slow with the next stimulus package. They first want to assess the impact of the first stimulus payment before taking any decision on the second round.
“Before we rush back and spend more money, whether that’s a trillion dollars or whether that’s more, we want to make sure we’re careful in knowing how much more we need to spend,” said Treasury Secretary Steve Mnunchin.
The Treasury Secretary said he had a talk with the President, but no decision has been made on the second round of direct payments to the people.
Will federal unemployment benefit continue?
As of now, there is no official confirmation on when we will see the Coronavirus stimulus round 2. The White House officials, however, will have to act quickly because the $600 federal unemployment benefit expires on July 31.
But, if Trump’s economic adviser Larry Kudlow is to be believed then there won’t be any unemployment checks after July. Kudlow referred to the unemployment benefits as a ‘disincentive to work.’
“We’re paying people not to work. It’s better than what their salaries get,” Kudlow told CNN.
Kudlow, however, did suggest that instead of unemployment benefit, the next bill may include a back-to-work bonus. Kudlow’s remark came after Trump proposed some form of the tax incentive to encourage domestic travel, which Trump believes can help stimulate the economy.
Last month, during a roundtable meeting with travel and restaurant industry, Trump floated the idea of ‘Explore America’. The plan would allow Americans to claim upto $4,000 tax deductions, including for visits to restaurants and stays at hotels.
As of now, there are no further details on Trump’s travel incentive plan.