With a total of 150 million stimulus checks to be sent out by the end of this month, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi began pushing for another round of checks this week as unemployment numbers continue to rise. So far, $157.9 billion has been paid out to Americans in 88.1 million non-taxable stimulus checks to help individuals cope with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives have continuously recommended a second round of checks, and even the possibility of a system of ongoing monthly payments. Republican leaders have largely been more reserved about the possibility – until today.
To this point, Republicans have been hesitant to approve another round of checks, which would offer immediate to millions of Americans, but could also send the nation spiraling into a financial recession and add to the nation’s spiking national debt. At present there is nothing signed into law to send out a second stimulus check, but today’s quick and decisive move by the House to pass the new Patriot Monetary Relief Act ( PMRA) through the house may soon change that.
A recent survey by SimplyWise, a financial tech company, revealed that 83% of Americans approve of the new plan, according to Grant Foozman, (D) from Arkansas. “People aren’t just willing to lay down and die here – we are a strong nation full of strong Americans. However, a little help is needed in times of an emergency, and the Republican party recognizes that need.”
Foozman said the new package would include checks of up to $2,000 each month for individual Americans earning up to $75,000, and $4,400 per month for married couples filing jointly and earning up to $150,000. In addition, children would be eligible as dependents to receive $500, or up to $6,000 per month per household. The benefits would be extended for 12 months, for a possible total of $72,000 per family.
The key here is that Democrats want to spend big – with funding for housing, internet access, food aid, Medicaid and mortgage relief, among other aspects. What’s surprising about this round of aid? Republicans also seem to be behind this bold new stimulus effort as well.
“This is by far the best package we have seen proposed to date, and I am excited to finally come to an agreement with Democrat leaders here to offer a fair and balanced plan to lead us all out of economic instability,” stated Senate Majority Leader Bill McDaniel(R).
The key to the success of the plan lies in the structure of the bill itself. Due to generous funding by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, 90% of the monetary payout will not affect the National Debt. In addition, those who receive checks will have a 24 hour option to deny the checks. After that point, an interest rate of 21% will begin on the funding. A representative of the Foundation assured us that there would also be an 18 month deferment plan for repayment, allowing individuals a considerable amount of time to manage the payout.
Some representatives, however, are not in agreement. Reginald Brown (D) stated that “The last stimulus hotline averaged a 37 hour wait by phone for service, so I am not sure how the denial process will succeed.” Others, while generally positive about the package, expressed concerns with the repayment options. According to the first draft of the proposal, if the monetary amount is not paid in full before the scheduled 18 months, the interest rate would rise to 29%.
According to the Foundation, the interest received would benefit the Gates Clinical Virology Testing Center, a joint effort associated with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a research institute on virology administered by the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The Gates Foundation has already donated hundreds of millions of dollars to various coronavirus-related causes and initiatives, and Bill Gates has pledged that the foundation, and its $40 billion endowment, is completely focused on the pandemic. “We want to assure Americans that we will all move forward and defeat this economic tragedy, and we are offering this generous assistance as a means to overcome,” stated a spokesperson for the foundation.