As President Donald Trump signed a bill Friday aimed at putting more money into the hands of small business owners, Democrats in the House were proposing measures that would give Americans a break from rent and mortgage payments, plus money in their wallets.
Both Republicans and Democrats have offered proposals for what could be considered for a fourth federal spending package with the GOP looking for infrastructure money and Democrats calling for money for cash-strapped employer-sponsored pension programs.
What would be in a possible phase four funding package is still being debated, but House Democrats have introduced three measures that they hope to see in the package.
Here’s a look at what has been proposed:
The Emergency Money for the People Act
Democrats Reps. Tim Ryan (Ohio) and Ro Khanna (Calif.) introduced a bill last week that would give Americans $2,000 a month for a guaranteed six months or until “employment returns to pre-COVID-19 levels.”
“Pre-COVID-19 levels” mean the employment to population ratio for people ages 16 and older is greater than 60%. The monthly cash payments would not count as income.
You could still apply for income-based federal or state assistance programs, such as assistance with purchasing food.
Who would be eligible for the money?
- Everyone 16 and older making less than $130,000 annually would receive $2,000 a month.
- Married couples earning less than $260,000 would receive at $4,000 per month.
- Qualifying families with children will also receive an additional $500 per child for up to three children.
So a family of four with two children earning income up to $260,000 a year would receive $5,000. A single tax filer would get $2,000.
If you are unemployed, you would be eligible for the money, as well.
- College students will be eligible for the money. They were not eligible for the stimulus payment sent out this week if they were claimed on their parent’s income tax as a dependent.
- Adults with disabilities were also left out of the stimulus payment since they could be claimed as dependents on others’ tax returns. They would be eligible for the Emergency Money for the People Act.
Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minnesota, introduced a bill in the U.S. House calling for a nationwide cancellation of rent and mortgage payments until the coronavirus pandemic has ended.
The bill is known as the Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act. It calls for the cancellation of all rent and mortgage payments on all primary residences for as long as the COVID-19 pandemic continues or up to one year.
Landlords and mortgage holders would receive the rent and mortgage payments from a fund set up by the federal government.
In addition to rent and mortgage payment cancellations and payment to landlords and mortgage holders, the bill includes:
- No accumulation of debt for renters or homeowners.
- Payments would be suspended for a person’s primary residence only.
- No negative impact on their credit rating or rental history.
According to the bill, the cancellation of rent or mortgage payments would be retroactive to March 13, meaning those who paid their rent or mortgage in April would be reimbursed.
A fund administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development would pay landlords and mortgage lenders for the rent and mortgage payments. Landlords and lenders would have to agree to a number of fair and inclusive lending terms for a period of five years, including:
- Yearly reporting of detailed lending data delineated by race, ethnicity, ZIP code, age, credit score, interest rates and other loan pricing features.
- Lenders submitting yearly detailed data on their office locations, outreach practices and their referral systems.
If the conditions are violated, the federal government can seek to recoup the funding.
Getting America Back to Work
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Missouri, has proposed the “Getting America Back to Work Act” in which the federal government would provide “a refundable payroll tax rebate covering 80% of employer payroll costs for firms of all sizes affected by this crisis.”
The act would be administered by the federal government and also include a rehiring bonus for laid-off employees. It would last for the duration of the health emergency.