The CARES Act, the economic stimulus bill passed in response to the coronavirus outbreak in March 2020, provided $2 trillion for small businesses, individual citizens, hospitals, health care providers and other negatively impacted industries. However, a new stimulus check, predicted to be announced in late July, may not offer nearly as much coverage.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that any additional stimulus check should be aimed at Americans whose income is $40,000 or less. This is a substantial reduction from that of the original CARES Act, which provided stimulus payments for individual tax-filers with a gross income of less than $75,000, and married tax-filers with a gross income of less than $150,000. If McConnell gets his wish, 20 million Americans could be left in the lurch, with catastrophic results for countless middle class individuals and families.

Despite modest improvement in May and June, July has already shown a drastic increase in COVID-19 cases, with struggling states such as California, Oregon and Florida rolling back reopening plans – and subsequent economic opportunities – in response. Now more than ever, inhabitants of these states will require financial relief.

The CARES Act – which has already been criticized for excluding DACA recipients, dependents over the age of 17, tax filers without Social Security numbers, and other vulnerable groups – may prove fruitless in the fight against economic collapse if it is dialed back by subsequent legislation.

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