- A $2.2 trillion stimulus package passed the House last week in an effort to restart negotiations in the Senate
- Among the economic relief measures is a fix for unemployed workers who receive both 1099 and W2 for their work, which Freelancers Union and 40+ organizations advocated for
- It includes second $1,200 stimulus check for all eligible Americans, including noncitizens
- The $600 FPUC payment returns through January 31, 2021, with a transition period to follow through March 2021
- An additional $30 billion is provided for PPP loans, including allowing businesses to apply for a second loan if they have lost 25% of their quarterly revenue
- $59 billion is provided for rent relief programs
On Thursday, October 1, the House of Representatives passed an update to the stimulus package they first sent to the Senate on May 15. The first HEROES Act, which was considered a followup to March’s CARES Act, has been sitting with the Senate ever since, with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plainly stating that he would not open it for negotiations because of the high cost.
HEROES 2.0, as the new bill is known, is an effort to restart the negotiation process given the dire economic impact of the continued growth of COVID-19 cases, the end of the $600 FPUC payment in July, and the end of eviction moratoriums in many states, including New York. Without a comprehensive stimulus package, it is feared that the country could see a second wave of unemployment and homelessness spikes as we move into the winter months.
The new package includes:
- A second $1,200 stimulus check for all eligible Americans, including noncitizens
- The revival of the $600 FPUC payment, to continue through January 31, 2021, with a transition period to follow through March 2021
- $30 billion for PPP loans, including allowing businesses to apply for a second loan if they have lost 25% of their quarterly revenue
- Streamlining the PPP forgiveness process
- $59 billion for rent relief programs
- An explicit provision that benefits are to be paid to noncitizen workers
- A “Save our Stages” provision that would provide $10 billion in SBA grants for independent live venue operators, promoters, and producers
- $120 billion in grants for restaurants and bars to cover wages, rent, supplies, and PPE costs
- An additional $125/week for people receiving traditional UI benefits who also had more than $5,000 in self-employment income in 2019
- $3.6 billion to states for election support
- $15 billion to the USPS
While Sen. McConnell stated again on Thursday that the new HEROES Act cost was too high and it would not move forward, some observers believe that there may be pressure from the president to pass a stimulus package, which would sway Senate Republicans toward opening negotiations.
In this moment, it’s critical that we continue to let members of the Senate know that their constituents demand a relief package. In particular, direct your comments and phone calls to Sen. McConnell and let him know the Senate must pick up this conversation immediately! In the final days before the election, many politicians are willing to listen more closely to voters in an effort to keep their position. Now is the time to call and demand that the Senate pass a relief package that will work for all freelancers.