As of April, the unemployment rate in the United States rose to a record high of 14.7%. In response, the House of Representatives was expected to vote on Friday, May 15 on a second coronavirus relief bill at a price tag of $3 trillion – that’s about $1 trillion higher than the first stimulus package. If the bill passes, it will include more than a second stimulus payment to individual citizens, and it will provide relief for the unemployed and businesses.
Democrats are calling the bill, the Heroes Act. The bill would provide a second round of stimulus checks to Americans, up to $6,000 per household, $200 billion toward essential worker hazard pay, nearly $1 trillion for local and state governments, and $75 billion for COVID-19 tracing, isolation, and testing, according to the House Appropriation Committee’s fact sheet.
The second round of relief legislation has been proposed while the IRS is still in the process of making direct deposits to people’s bank accounts and mailing paper checks to help soften the financial blow caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Second Set of Stimulus Checks for 2020
One of the driving forces behind the proposed legislation is the 3 million new unemployment claims filed in recent weeks. Since mid-March, there have been over 36 million first-time unemployment claims since the pandemic was declared a national emergency by President Donald Trump. Many experts believe the pandemic has America headed straight toward a recession, the worst since the Great Depression.
“The International Monetary Fund has slashed its forecasts for global growth in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and warned of a slump in output this year unparalleled since the Great Depression of the 1930s,” reported The Guardian.
While the economic stimulus checks are much appreciated and a second-round even more so, they are Band-Aids and do not provide long-lasting solutions. For debtors who are unemployed because of COVID-19, a more permanent solution may be filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.