Let’s Unpack the Proposed Stimulus Packages:
HEROES Act (D) v. HEAL Act (R). 

Taylor Knox

Mobirise

Stimulus Package is a new term for the vast majority of American citizens, yet we learned the basics pretty quickly. Really though, what do we know about stimulus packages and what should we know? We know that a majority of us American citizens that make less than $75,000 annually, got a check for $1,200 from the government “for free”. We know that we had to either do our taxes in 2019 or in 2020 to get our stimulus check automatically deposited or sent by mail. We know that if you have kids you may have received more money. Maybe we assume that businesses also got some help from the government,but do not really know any of the details. These packages are being built with federal money and absolutely include taxpayer money – past, present, and future. Tax payers, and any potential federal relief recipients, need to expressly know what the legislation means and what they truly need for their health, well-being and ability to carry-on providing habitable, healthy environments for themselves and their families. This means money people. The economy is a major pillar holding up America and when she falters or fails, the country suffers in a dizzying downward spiral, advantageously grasping and pulling necessary facets to Hell with it. For free you can bear witness to your friends, family, and fellow Americans learn and cope with a daily struggle to survive. We must deal with this issue in totality so we can move forward instead of catapulting backwards. I’m not going to expand on the obviously desirable need for our elected leaders to begin actively listening and respecting science, as well as the advice being touted by the top medical science professionals in the field – Anthony S. Fauci, an American doctor and immunologist; has advised six different American presidents, and has been the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984. Dr. Fauci is also the chief of the Laboratory of Immunoregulation and according to Google Scholar citations, as of July 2020, Fauci has been “ranked as the 41st most highly cited researcher of all time.” Listen to him.

The HEREOS Act is the Democratic answer to the next step in government intervention required to offset the consequences of the global Coronavirus pandemic, and economic crises that’s directly tied to it. It was passed by the House of Representatives on May 15th, but stalled at the Republican controlled Senate; and with that, the imperative aid and benefits given to citizens and businesses alike, through the CARES Act, unfortunately expired. The HEREOS Act would cost $3-trillion while the HEAL Act would cost $1-trillion. Aside from each having a hefty price tag, they’re quite dissimilar in their priorities, except for agreeing that the middle class and down, should get another $1,200 stimulus check.

The HEREOS Act wanted another stimulus check but opposing key components of the first check which failed to include immigrants and even American citizens married to immigrants that only have an ITIN – Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, instead of a Social Security Number, dependents over the age of 17 – mainly college students and disabled adults. The HEREOS Act also wants to give more money per dependent. They both agree that the checks only be sent out to citizens that are ALIVE (because that was an issue) and that make under a certain annual amount -$75,000 for single adults.
The HEREOS Act wants hazard pay for essential workers like medical personnel, police officers/firefighters, grocery and cafeteria employees, postal workers, childcare and teachers. The HEAL Act doesn’t mention hazard pay at all.

The CARES Act that was initially passed and enacted by the government in March of 2020, included additional benefits to the normal unemployment aid available to citizens, and the HEREOS Act would extend these benefits. The most controversial and essential being the $600 per week in addition to the expected unemployment pay. This money has been crucial in keeping the economy afloat by providing citizens with the funds to keep a roof over their heads and keep their families full by buying food from restaurants and grocery stores. The HEALS Act mentions lowering the $600/week to $200/per week until October at which time the states will use a formula to figure out how much a person should get in order to cover 75% of their normal wages. This is problematic for hourly shift workers to calculate, and a large portion of the states have outdated unemployment systems that make this solution lengthy and therefore ineffective. The portion being cut from $600 to $200 a week is also a massive difference in income, especially when you’re living off support with no work due to COVID. This will absolutely result in a huge upswing in the number of potential homeless Americans and the collapse of our economy entirely.

The HEREOS Act stands alone in protecting all the renters of America, as well as the homeowners. It aids to block evictions based solely off of failure to pay – you can still be evicted for other reasons listed in lease agreement, like violence. Many states have refused the right to evict tenants for nonpayment but most of those stipulations are expired or expiring. Many of these rental properties are also tied to or outright owned by companies that have received federal grants pertaining to COVID and they cannot evict tenants for nonpayment. Again, with these memorandums expiring, there are citizens already standing in front of judges for losing work and all income due to COVID. Like everyone, these people are being told to socially distance and stay home but they are being forced from their homes with no resources. To go to a shelter during a global pandemic can only be classified as risky – you’re in close quarters with people you don’t know and that change out, often in less than ideal conditions. The HEALS Act includes a portion of help for Section 8 renters.

The HEREOS Act additionally includes more money for state and local aid, on top of the $150 billion already disbursed in the CARES Act. The HEAL Act does not include more aid here.

The HEREOS Act wants student loans forgiven up to $10k

The HEAL Act wants more Paycheck Protection Programs in order to forgive small business loans.

The HEAL Act wants to protect employers like hospitals and schools from being legally liable for their employees potential COVID-19 related consequences from employment.

The HEAL Act also wants funds to build a new FBI building in Washington, D.C. because in the middle of a national crisis, why not?

There are even more to compare and contrast but I think this list gets the point I’m trying to make across; one side is focused on helping our communities stay safe, stay afloat, and one side will only give you funds for school systems if they open fully and on time, regardless of health and safety. There’s also a huge chance that neither of these packages are passed and instead a new package is created and passed by Congress. The intention here is to see what priorities the parties have. To be honest, neither party is for the people, but for themselves. If I have to choose one though, I’m surely going to choose the party that wants to keep families in their homes and food in their bellies. If there isn’t a decision made by Congress on the next stimulus package by this Friday, August 7th 2020, then we will be waiting until September at the earliest. Congress takes their scheduled break after this week and reconvenes the first week of September. Hopefully our politicians can compromise and give the people the proper aid before they break, or we will see an overwhelming amount of families put out on the street. We need to VOTE this fall, from the president to local offices!! We need to vote for the right people to govern and lead us so that if,and when, something like this happens again in our country, we have a chance of handling it properly. We’re going to have a mess of an economy whenever it's fully safe for everyone to go back to work and all industries to reopen, we MUST VOTE smart. We need emotionally intelligent humans leading us while rebuilding.

We.

Must.

Vote.

https://www.niaid.nih.gov/about/director
https://www.naco.org/covid19/federal-advocacy/heals-act
https://www.americanactionforum.org/insight/financial-services-provisions-in-the-heroes-act/
https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/6800
https://www.natlawreview.com/article/public-policy-briefing-july-28-2020
https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/cares
https://taxfoundation.org/heals-act-gop-phase-4-stimulus-package-republican-coronavirus-relief-bill/

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