Democrats’ new $2.2 trillion bill includes a second round of $1,200 stimulus checks

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The big question over whether Congress will pass another coronavirus stimulus bill is, will they or won’t they?

From jobs to savings to retirement plans, the coronavirus pandemic has upended many Americans’ financial lives.

Millions of Americans, facing serious financial hardship, are hoping for more relief, including expanded federal unemployment benefits and a second round of $1,200 stimulus checks as the American economy continues to cope with challenges from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Now, House Democrats have introduced a new, updated bill that reduces the total size of the aid they previously sought with the aim of appeasing Republicans.

The proposal, still dubbed the HEROES Act, includes a second round of $1,200 stimulus checks.

This time, they are calling for more generous terms than the first checks that were dispersed in the spring, which would lead to more people qualifying for the money.

Like the first round of stimulus checks, House Democrats are proposing payments of up to $1,200 per individual or $2,400 per married couple who files jointly, plus $500 per eligible dependent.

Full-time students who are younger than 24 and adult dependents also would be eligible for those $500 payments. That marks a change from dependent pay in the first checks, which only went to children under age 17.

Another change Democrats are seeking would have money also go to those with Taxpayer Identification Numbers, not just Social Security numbers.

The payments would be exempt from being reduced or offset for past due child support, unlike the first checks. Democrats are also calling for the second checks to be protected from garnishment.

The measure also seeks to patch delivery issues that occurred  with the first checks.

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The new checks would also be based on 2018 or 2019 federal tax returns.

Federal beneficiaries — those who receive Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Veterans or Railroad Retirement benefits — would stand to get their payments automatically even if they did not file 2018 or 2019 returns.

The Treasury Department would be required to reach out to people who do not typically file tax returns to let them know how they can submit their information in order receive the money.

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