Momentum appears to have taken hold for another large stimulus bill like the Cares Act.
Congress has called this the Heroes Act, and as it has been drafted, it has more individual assistance than the first bill.
While economic prospects have improved somewhat with the country beginning to reopen, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office projects unemployment could still be in the 10% range by year’s end.
Connecticut Congressman Joe Courtney outlined some of the help that could be on the way with the $3.5 trillion Heroes Act that the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives passed last month.
Among the fixes, compared to the Cares Act, a family could now get up to $6,000, with a change in the definition of dependents.
“As you may recall in the Cares Act it was 17 or less, or younger than 17. That left out the dependents who were kids in college. Who you know can go up as high as 21,” Courtney said.
The House version of the Heroes Act also has made a new provision to help those who have been laid off pay for COBRA so they can keep getting health care through the insurance they had at work.
Courtney said at Foxwoods for example, of the roughly 6,000 people working there in early March, at least for now, only about 1,500 are back.
“So there are still about 3,500 people who have now gone from furloughed status to layoffs on June 1st. So that COBRA subsidy would help protect them and extend people’s health insurance through the end of the calendar year,” Courtney explained.
The legislation was written to include something for many we now call heroes.
“…to recognize all of the front line workers first responders, the people who have been out there, in the middle of the pandemic, in March and April to sort of recognize their efforts with sort of a hazard pay,” Courtney said.
The Heroes Act still has a long way to go. The GOP controlled Senate, and the Trump administration have not offered their version of another large stimulus bill yet, but there have been reports they are warming up to the idea, as the economy remains in recovery mode.