THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
Senate Republicans have revealed their proposal for a second stimulus package, which they're referring to as the HEALS Act (Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection, and Schools Act). The move makes a second $1200 stimulus check for overseas Americans more likely, as the Democrat-led House of Representatives has already passed the HEROES Act, or Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act, which also contained provisions for another check for Americans.
Under the HEALS Act Proposal, a second $1200 check will be issued to all Americans, including those living overseas, with the same income limits and thresholds as with the first check. Like the CARES Act, which legislated for the first stimulus check, there would also be $500 extra per dependent. The HEALS Act also introduces a Return to Work bonus of $450 a week, and provides extra help for those renting property to avoid eviction.
The HEALS Act makes a stimulus check much more likely, given that now both Democrats and Republicans are proposing to bring forward a second round of financial support for Americans. Of course, some overseas Americans are still waiting on a stimulus check from the first round, and others have found the process of cashing a US Check outside of America to be onerous and costly. If a second round of stimulus payments is confirmed, the IRS needs to ensure that the problems experienced by overseas Americans during the first round are resolved.
Negotiations will need to take place before any extra stimulus package is formally passed. The Democrat proposed HEROES Act and the Republican proposed HEALS Act differ in a number of ways, leaving lots of issues up for discussion, but an additional check would be a welcome bonus for US Taxpayers after a difficult first half of 2020.
A useful guide to the HEALS Act can be found at taxfoundation.org/heals-act-gop-phase-4-stimulus-package-republican-coronavirus-relief-bill