The coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly hit the United States’ economy hard. Since the beginning of this crisis, more than 43 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits- and that number is still growing. Experts are expecting things to continue getting worse until they start improving. Even if there are still many Americans who have retained their jobs through the pandemic by working from home, many essential employees have had their hours slashed. This has left them with little means to financially support themselves.
Recently, President Trump and his advisors have seemed to warm up to the idea of a second round of relief checks. The President stated that he “[T]hink[s] we’re going to be helping people out” by “getting some money for them.” Many people are hopeful that they will be getting economic relief sometime in the near future. Even the Treasury Secretary believes that there is a “strong likelihood” that Americans will be receiving those stimulus checks sooner than some might believe.
While support for a second round of coronavirus relief checks has gained traction from the White House, the GOP seems to be somewhat reluctant to provide their approval. But the longer the pandemic lasts, the less options the government has for providing a boost to the economy.
The Democratic Party is mostly in favor of providing much more encompassing relief for all Americans. They want to provide money for people to be able to put money back into the economy and to expand the safety protocols in place by allowing greater use of mail-in ballots. Their proposed coronavirus relief Bill would have the government spending $3 trillion.
The Republican majority Senate balked at the proposed budget. As time has gone on, Republicans have started to bend, and have opened the door to a more limited relief plan. They have proposed that any relief Bill should not cost more than $1 trillion. Though earlier in March they passed the $2.2 trillion CARES Act which provided:
- $1200 per individual, $2400 for married couples
- $500 per dependent child under 17
The CARES Act was intended to just take some of the pain of the economic deficit away. But now, the economic climate is even worse and the GOP wants to provide less relief money.
The unemployment rate is still looking like a mess; it’s down from 20% to 13.3%, but that’s still higher than the 2008 recession. While things do seem to be somewhat looking up, the virus is still a problem and many are still unemployed as a result. Hopefully the House, Senate, and President can come to a consensus soon so that some financial relief can be provided to the Americans hurting most from this crisis.