Stimulus update: Democrats reveal new HEROES Act that includes $1,200 checks, unemployment benefits

Democrats reveal $2.2 trillion stimulus package

House Democrats on Monday revealed an updated stimulus relief bill that includes a $1,200 stimulus check for millions of Americans and $600 a week in federal unemployment benefits.

The legislation, a retooling of the HEROES bill passed by the House in April, originally cost $3.4 trillion. The new package was trimmed down to around $2.2 trillion.

The plan would include a second round of stimulus checks to more than 150 million Americans and aid for schools and businesses.

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“Democrats are making good on our promise to compromise with this updated bill, which is necessary to address the immediate health and economic crisis facing America’s working families right now,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, wrote in a letter to House Democrats. “We have been able to make critical additions and reduce the cost of the bill by shortening the time covered for now.”

The new legislation includes these proposals:

  • $1,200 stimulus check: A second round of direct payments to U.S. citizens. The checks would be for the same amount as before, $1,200 for qualifying taxpayers and $500 per dependent.
  • Federal unemployment benefit: The $600 per week federal unemployment benefit would be restored and payments would go out until the end of January 2021.
  • State and local aid: Democrats are proposing $436 billion in aid to states and cities. The money is designed to help alleviate budget shortfalls caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Originally, Democrats wanted $900 billion for state and city governments.
  • PPP funding: The bill proposes extending the Paycheck Protection Program to aid small businesses.
  • Airline help: The legislation aims to keep airline industry employees on the payroll.
  • Education: K-12 schools would get $182 billion and postsecondary schools would get $39 billion.
  • Child care: $57 billion is earmarked to support child care.

Money would also be spent on the U.S. Postal Service, coronavirus testing, election security and other programs.

According to a spokesman for Pelosi, Secretary of the Treasury Stephen Mnuchin spoke to Pelosi on Monday about the proposed legislation. The two are set to speak again Tuesday.