Republican senators floated a plan Thursday to make $1,000 payments to adults and children with Social Security numbers, regardless of age or dependent status.
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., failed to get the full Senate to pass by unanimous consent Democrats’ economic relief bill, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (Heroes) Act, which passed the House in May.
The Coronavirus Assistance for American Families Act was introduced by Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La.; Steve Daines, R-Mont.; Mitt Romney, R-Utah; and Marco Rubio, R-Fla.
Adult dependents, including those with disabilities or college students, along with U.S. citizens married to foreign nationals, would be eligible for the payments. These groups were excluded from the CARES Act, which paid $1,200 per eligible adult and $500 per child 16 and under.
The senators hope to make this bill a part of the Republicans’ Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools (HEALS) package, a spokesman for Cassidy said.
The current HEALS Act package would include $1,200 direct payment checks. The main difference between Cassidy’s bill and HEALS, the spokesman said, “is we double the dependent amount to treat every American the same.”
The $1,000 payments would include single workers earning $75,000 or less, as well as households with annual incomes of $150,000 and under.
“As Congress continues to negotiate another economic response to the pandemic, we should prioritize direct assistance to those who need it most,” Rubio said in a statement.
No Vote on Heroes Act
Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., blocked the Democrats’ UC request. The $3 trillion Heroes Act is “not a serious offer,” Johnson said. Democrats “want to pass a bill by unanimous consent for $3 trillion … we don’t need to authorize more money; we need to help people who are unemployed.”
The Heroes Act “has already passed the House and does a far better job at dealing with the unemployment situation,” Schumer argued on the Senate floor just before the Thursday afternoon vote. The current $600 unemployment benefit ends Friday.
The GOP’s HEALS Act, Schumer argued, “moves backward, is stingy … We have to do something; the Heroes Act is the right thing to do.”