On Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi revealed a new proposed bill titled the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act, also referred to the HEROES Act. The proposed bill would cost another $3 trillion. Before I go any further, it is important to note that this is just a proposal and the chance of this getting passed in its current state is slim to none. Having said that, there are some highlights to mention as follows:
- Additional stimulus checks – This could mean another round of checks (or direct deposits) up to $1,200 per person. The criteria would be very similar to the first round of stimulus payments but there would be a higher amount per dependent ($1,200 versus $500). In addition, the definition of eligible dependent would expand.
- Hazard Pay – Would include $200 billion in hazard pay for first responders and frontline workers.
- Flexible spending accounts – Could have the ability to carry forward to 2021
- State and local taxes – The House is attempting to throw this in to eliminate the cap on SALT deductions for 2020 and 2021.
- Above the line deductions – Would increase the above-the-line deduction for teachers and expand the deduction to first responders.
- Required minimum distributions for 2019 – Could roll funds back into plan without regard to normal 60-day rollover window.
- Unemployment benefits – Would allow $600/week surplus for unemployment which is set to end on July 31, 2020 to be extended through January 31, 2021.
- Housing Assistance – Would expand the eviction moratorium and foreclosure protections to include all renters and homeowners.
- Business provisions – Several provisions related to Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) including additional funding, changes to covered period, and change to 75/25% payroll allocation.
There is a lot more in the 1,800 plus pages of the proposed bill but until we get closer to something actually getting passed, I will leave it at that. The House is set to vote on the bill Friday. Even if it gets passed by the House, it would still need to be passed by the Senate which has already come out and said it wants to evaluate things as states begin to re-open first before any additional government aid. There is more to come on this so stay tuned.
For questions relating to the impact of COVID-19 on your business and how to emerge post COVID-19 please contact a member of our COVID-19 Task Force at email@example.com, and visit our COVID-19 Resource Center.