HEALS vs. CARES vs. Heroes: Key differences between the Democratic and Republican stimulus packages - CNET

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CARES, HEALS, Heroes. Here's what each stimulus package has to offer.

Angela Lang/CNET

HEALSHeroesCARES. Which stimulus proposal is which, and what do they all mean for you? That's what we're here to sort out, and to give you an idea of what's going on with the next stimulus package right now. 

The first thing you need to know is that all three proposals -- one which became law and is now expired (the CARES Act) and two which are proposals in the full swing of negotiation on Capitol Hill -- aim to provide financial relief during the ongoing coronavirus recession

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The HEALS Act is the Republican bid for another rescue package, and Heroes is the Democrats' solution. Neither one is law now, but ongoing negotiations in Washington hope to thread the needle between the two. Once lawmakers strike a deal, putting certain facets of the plan into practice could take time. Other aspects, namely sending out a second stimulus check for eligible Americans, could get fast-tracked.

"Economists and labor market experts ... warn that any solution that emerges from the negotiations would take weeks, if not months, to get up and running, risking a potentially catastrophic fiscal cliff for tens of millions of US households," The Hill reported earlier this week. But what are those solutions, and what are the problem areas? Enhanced jobless benefits is a big one, with Senate Republicans and the White House apparently open to meet in the middle

The main similarities and differences between the current iteration of the HEALS Act, the original CARES Act and the Heroes Act give us an idea of what we might get beyond a second stimulus payment. Read on for all the info. This story updates often.

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CARES vs. Heroes vs. HEALS Acts: What's the difference?


Total cost of stimulus package Stimulus check maximum payment amount How much stimulus money you get for dependents Enhanced unemployment benefit How long enhanced unemployment lasts Paycheck Protection Program Employee tax credit Bonus for employees who start new jobs or are rehired Eviction protections and moratorium School reopening Liability protection from coronavirus illness Coronavirus testing
CARES (from March) Heroes (Democratic) HEALS (Republican)
$2.2 trillion $3 trillion $1 trillion
$1,200 to single filers earning under $75K per year, $2,400 for joint filers under $125K. Reduced $5 per $100 of income above limits. Same as CARES. Same as CARES.
$500 for dependents, 16 and under. College students, 24 and under, are not eligible. $1,200 for dependents, maximum of three. $500 for dependents, no age limit.
$600 per week in addition to state benefits. Same as CARES. Initially $200 per week. Then up to $500 per week to match 70% of lost wages when added to state benefits.
Expires July 31. January 2021 for most workers, through March 2021 for gig workers, independent contractors, part-time workers and self-employed. $200 per week bonus through September. Then 70% matching of lost wages. Extends expiration of federal benefits until Dec. 31.
Allocated $659 billion total in forgivable loans for small businesses, who must use 75% on payroll to be eligible for forgiveness. $130 billion remains, but expires Aug. 8. Expands eligibility, eliminates 75% payroll requirement and extends application period to Dec. 31. Injects another $190 billion into the PPP fund, expands eligibility and allows businesses to request a second loan. Eliminates 75% payroll requirement and expands approved uses of funds for loan forgiveness.
Tax credit on 50% of up to $10,000 in wages. Increases tax credit to 80% of up to $15,000 in wages. Increases tax credit to 65% of up to $30,000.
Does not address. Does not address. There could be a return-to-work bonus of up to $450 per week for unemployed workers who secure a new job or are rehired.
Bans late fees until July 25 and evictions until Aug. 24 on properties backed by federal mortgage programs (Fannie Mae, etc.) or that receive federal funds (HUD, etc.). Expands to cover nearly all rental properties in the US, extends eviction moratorium an additional 12 months, allocates $200 billion for housing programs and another $100 billion for rental assistance. Does not address.
Does not address. $58 billion for grades K-12, $42 billion for higher education. $70 billion to K-12 that open for in-person classes, $29 billion for higher education, $1 billion to Bureau of Indian Education, $5 billion state discretion.
Does not address. Does not address. 5 year liability shield to prevent schools, businesses, hospitals, from being sued over coronavirus-related issues.
Does not address. Does not address. $16 billion.
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