Senate GOP’s relief bill includes another round of $1,200 stimulus payments

Changes to federal unemployment benefits, money to help schools reopen also in coronavirus relief package

Another round of stimulus checks, changes to federal unemployment benefits and money to help schools to reopen safely are all in a $1 trillion coronavirus relief package that Senate Republicans introduced Monday afternoon.

It comes as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Florida and many families are feeling the uncertainty of the new few months. Starting Aug. 1, landlords can start evicting tenants for lack of pay. The moratorium on evictions at federally-funded properties expired earlier this month. The extra $600 a month from federal unemployment benefits have come to an end.

Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives proposed and passed a $3 trillion plan that’s meant to alleviate some of that pressure.

The Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools (HEALS) Act is the Republican-led Senate’s counteroffer.

Here’s what’s in the proposal:

  • Another round of $1,200 stimulus payments, which would come with the same income restriction and requirements as the first stimulus payments.
  • Families receiving $2,400, plus $500 per child.

Under the proposal, unemployment benefits would drastically change:

  • Instead of $600 weekly in federal money, beneficiaries would receive $200 in addition to what they get from the state.
  • Eventually transitioning to a system designed to provide 70% of what a person used to make.
  • This makes it impossible for anyone to earn more on unemployment than they did working.

As for schools, the plan would include:

  • $105 billion to help schools reopen.
  • $70 billion for K-12.
  • $30 billion for colleges and universities.

Some other key points in the plan include:

  • Another round of loans under the Paycheck Protection Program.
  • $16 billion for testing.
  • $26 billion for vaccine research.

Forbes reports an extension of the federal eviction moratorium, which was expected to be included in the plan, is not mentioned in the bill.

So what is the timeline for this new stimulus package? Now that Senate Republicans have introduced the bill, lawmakers in both the House and Senate will negotiate the terms. The deadline for passing the bill is Aug. 7, when the Senate is set to recess. That gives lawmakers 10 business days to get a deal done.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said that if a bill is passed, those one-time checks of $1,200 will be sent out sometime in August.

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