With a July 31 summer recess deadline looming, Senate Republicans have released a proposal for a second coronavirus stimulus package: the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools (HEALS) Act.
The second (symbol: s, abbreviation: sec) is the base unit of time in the International System of Units (SI) (French: Système International d’unités), commonly understood and historically defined as 1⁄86400 of a day – this factor derived from the division of the day first into 24 hours, then to 60 minutes and finally to 60 seconds each. Analog clocks and watches often have sixty tick marks on their faces, representing seconds (and minutes), and a “second hand” to mark the passage of time in seconds. Digital clocks and watches often have a two-digit seconds counter. The second is also part of several other units of measurement like meters per second for velocity, meters per second per second for acceleration, and cycles per second for frequency.
Although the historical definition of the unit was based on this division of the Earth’s rotation cycle, the formal definition in the International System of Units (SI) is a much steadier timekeeper: it is defined by taking the fixed numerical value of the caesium frequency ∆νCs, the unperturbed ground-state hyperfine transition frequency of the caesium-133 atom, to be 9192631770 when expressed in the unit Hz, which is equal to s−1.
Because the Earth’s rotation varies and is also slowing ever so slightly, a leap second is periodically added to clock time to keep clocks in sync with Earth’s rotation.
Multiples of seconds are usually counted in hours and minutes. Fractions of a second are usually counted in tenths or hundredths. In scientific work, small fractions of a second are counted in milliseconds (thousandths), microseconds (millionths), nanoseconds (billionths), and sometimes smaller units of a second. An everyday experience with small fractions of a second is a 1-gigahertz microprocessor which has a cycle time of 1 nanosecond. Camera shutter speeds are often expressed in fractions of a second, such as 1⁄30 second or 1⁄1000 second.
Sexagesimal divisions of the day from a calendar based on astronomical observation have existed since the third millennium BC, though they were not seconds as we know them today. Small divisions of time could not be measured back then, so such divisions were mathematically derived. The first timekeepers that could count seconds accurately were pendulum clocks invented in the 17th century. Starting in the 1950s, atomic clocks became better timekeepers than earth’s rotation, and they continue to set the standard today.
HEALS Act Second Stimulus Checks Would Include Expanded …
A stimulus is something that causes a physiological response. It may refer to:
Stimulus (physiology), something external that influences an activity
Stimulus (psychology), a concept in behaviorism and perception
For government spending as stimulus, see Fiscal policy
For an increase in money designed to speed growth, see Monetary policy
The input to an Input/output system, especially in computers
Many Americans can expect another $1,200 payment from the federal government if and when the Senate’s relief proposal gets approved. Families with dependents may also see an extra payment, thanks to expanded payment rules offered by Republican leadership.
Here’s what the HEALS Act proposal offers for taxpayers with dependents.
HEALS Act Second Stimulus Checks Would Include Expanded …
What to Expect From the HEALS Act
Unlike the first round of economic impact payments, which restricted dependent payments to children under age 17, the newest Senate proposal calls for a $500 payment for dependents of all ages.
The dependent payment would be added onto the $1,200 direct payments planned for individuals earning $75,000 or less.
Next Stimulus Package Released Today: $1,200 Stimulus Check, Reduced Unemployment Aid In HEALS Act
New Stimulus Package Announced: $1,200 Second Stimulus Checks, Unemployment Benefits, Student Loan Relief, PPP Loans, School Opening, Coronavirus Testing
How The Second Stimulus Check Is Similar Yet Different Than The First Stimulus Check
Payment calculations are again slated to be based on your most recent tax return. If you filed before the adjusted July 15 deadline, your payment would be based on your 2019 tax return; if you requested an extension, your 2018 tax return would be referenced to determine your payment.
While this stimulus plan is far from finalized, you can determine your eligibility for the expanded dependent payment with our HEALS Act stimulus check calculator.
How the CARES Act Excluded Some Dependents
The CARES Act, passed in late March, offered $500 per dependent, but was only available to dependent children under age 17. This excluded students and young adults who weren’t yet filing their own taxes, along with households with adult dependents.
More than 15 million such dependents were excluded from the CARES Act payments, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities analysis of Census Bureau data.
Young adult dependents excluded by the CARES Act have been particularly vulnerable to the economic impact of the pandemic. The unemployment rate for people ages 16 to 24 was 25.3% in May 2020, far higher than the rate for any other age group, according to the Pew Research Center.
Other Options for Relief
The Democrats’ plan that passed in the House of Representatives in May (the HEROES Act) had called for payments of $1,200 per qualifying child with a cap of three on top of a repeat $1,200 payment for adults.
But two other proposals discussed this summer also included enhanced payments for dependents:
- The Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act, proposed by Senate Democrats, sought to provide monthly stimulus payments, including $2,000 per child with a cap of three.
- Representative Tim Ryan’s (D-OH) Emergency Money for the People Act in the House of Representatives also called for monthly stimulus payments, with $500 per dependent up to three children.
Both proposals included higher thresholds for household income in order to be eligible for stimulus payments. The HEROES Act would have retained the $75,000 adjusted gross income limit before phasing out benefits.
Each of the previous proposals focused on providing dependent payments only to households with children under 17.
Why Dependent Payments Are Still Uncertain
An expanded dependent payment benefit may be a part of the plan for the second stimulus package, but it’s not yet a reality.
It’s uncertain whether Democrats and Republicans will come to an agreement in the Senate this week—let alone get approval from the House of Representatives and President Trump—prior to August 1, when Congress’s month-long recess begins. The House of Representatives’ recess begins August 1, with the Senate break starting August 7.
Although a full text of the bill hasn’t been released, the HEALS Act contains some items that may trip up the negotiations. Funding of $1.75 billion for a new Federal Bureau of Investigations headquarters is one head-scratcher as it relates to immediate coronavirus economic relief, but remains a priority for President Trump.
The reduction of weekly unemployment benefits provided by the federal government from $600 weekly to $200 is another point of concern. But if an agreement isn’t made by Friday, those benefits will lapse altogether.
Even if the HEALS Act is approved as is, there’s still the issue of distributing the anticipated direct payments to taxpayers. The first round of economic impact payments started to arrive via direct deposit about three weeks after the CARES Act was signed.
As of July 17, the IRS has delivered more than 159 million economic impact payments nationwide. But the process hasn’t been without its challenges. A report from the Government Accountability Office found that in the first month of stimulus payment delivery, as many as 365,000 low-income Americans didn’t receive the payments they expected for their dependent children.
Fortunately, the Treasury and the IRS have already established the system for sending out direct payments, so you may see yours more quickly in this second stimulus round.