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The possibility of a fresh round of stimulus checks for American families has been thrown into uncertainty amid a congressional impasse over another coronavirus relief package, but parents in North Carolina could soon receive a second cash payment.
This week, the North Carolina legislature approved the Coronavirus Relief Act 3.0, a $1 billion spending measure that would give parents of children 17 and younger a $335 stimulus check to help offset the costs associated with child care and remote learning during the pandemic.
The checks, called "extra credit grants," would be sent out by Dec. 15 to parents who filed taxes.
Individuals who received a 2019 state tax return refund by direct deposit will receive the $335 check via direct deposit also, according to the legislation. Individuals who did not file can apply for the grant — a flat amount, regardless of how many children are in the household.
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"I know $335 isn't gonna pay off a mortgage, but it'll put a dent in the cost of electronic devices or help pay for a tutor," state Senate leader Phil Berger, a Republican, said during a press conference on Wednesday. "I really am not worried about how parents will spend that $335. All I know is they need it. They deserve it."
The state Senate passed the bill on Wednesday by a 44-5 vote, with five Democrats voting against it. The House voted for it Thursday, 104-10, and sent the legislation to Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat.
“All I know is they need it; they deserve it,” Berger said.
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The proposal would spend about $440 million of the roughly $903 million in federal CARES Act money the state needs to allocate by the end of the year.
Although both Republicans and Democrats seemed to broadly support a second $1,200 stimulus check for adults and $500 for children and other dependents earlier this summer, negotiations over another round of emergency aid collapsed at the beginning of August.
One of the biggest points of contention between the parties is the cost of the aid package. Democrats have offered to come down $1 trillion from the roughly $3 trillion HEROES Act, which the House passed in May. But the White House and Republican leaders want to keep the price tag closer to $1 trillion amid growing concerns over the nation's ballooning deficit.
CALCULATE HOW MUCH MONEY YOU'D RECEIVE FROM THE SECOND STIMULUS CHECK HERE
Democrats are now saying they will only sit down with Republicans if they agree to a $2.2 trillion price tag.
President Trump has urged the two sides to come together and cut a deal, saying in mid-August that he'd directed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to prepare a second cash payment for Americans with the qualifications identical to the first.
"DEMOCRATS ARE HOLDING THIS UP!" he tweeted.
Individuals who earn a gross adjusted income of up to $75,000 would receive a second $1,200 payment under proposals backed by Republicans and Democrats. For higher earners, the checks will be reduced by $5 for every $100 in income and phased out entirely at $99,000 and $198,000.
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