Second Stimulus Check: What the Updated HEROES Act Says About More Payments

Democrats have outlined an updated version of their HEROES Act in a bid to pass a further stimulus package in Congress after a months-long stalemate over what relief measures should be taken amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

The original HEROES Act passed in the House in May, though was branded dead on arrival upon moving to the Senate, with Republicans opposing the bill.

An updated version of the act sees its cost decrease, with spending having been a major point of contention, from $3.4 trillion to $2.2 trillion.

But despite this reduction an aspect that remains unchanged from the first version is the provision of stimulus checks.

Highlighting "key priorities from the version of the legislation that passed the House in May" which remain, a one-pager from the bill's lead author Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) details that further direct payments are included.

"Provides additional direct payments, cushioning the economic blow of the coronavirus crisis with a more robust second round of economic impact payments of $1,200 per taxpayer and $500 per dependent," the page reads.

These will be paid out similarly to the CARES Act though differ on some points.

All dependents will be eligible for the $500 amount, meaning full-time students below the age of 24 and adult independents can receive this. The act also allows payments to be made to those with a Taxpayer Identification Number, as opposed to a Social Security Number. The payments will also be exempt from "reduction or offset with respect to past-due child support."

They will also be protected from "any form of transfer, assignment, execution, levy, attachment, garnishment, legal process, bankruptcy or insolvency law, and any other means of capture prohibited for payments made under Title II of the Social Security Act."

While Republicans and Democrats have disagreed on several aspects of the act, they have largely agreed that another round of stimulus checks should go ahead.

Such payments were in the CARES Act, which was signed more than six months ago. Polling has indicated the public supports the idea of more being distributed. Some have said they need them to cover their basic living costs amid the economic turmoil posed by the COVID-19 crisis.

In a message regarding the updated HEROES Act, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told colleagues the new version provides the "absolutely needed resources to protect lives, livelihoods and the life of our democracy over the coming months."

"It has been more than four months since House Democrats sent the GOP Senate $3.4 trillion in desperately needed coronavirus relief grounded in science and data, and Leader McConnell hit the pause button. In our negotiations with the White House since then, Democrats offered to come down a trillion dollars if Republicans would come up a trillion dollars. Then, we offered to come down $200 billion more, even as the health and economic crisis has worsened and the needs have only grown," she said.

"Democrats are making good on our promise to compromise with this updated bill, which is necessary to address the immediate health and economic crisis facing America's working families right now. We have been able to make critical additions and reduce the cost of the bill by shortening the time covered for now."

Pelosi is expected to speak more with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Tuesday, who she has previous held talks with in a bid to breach the impasse.

Newsweek has contacted the White House and the lawmakers mentioned above for further comment on the latest proposal and negotiations.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) holds a weekly press conference at the Capitol on September 24, 2020. Democrats have outlined an updated version of their HEROES Act. Liz Lynch/Getty Images