By CultureBanx Team
- The House passed a $1.9T coronavirus relief plan, that includes sending out $1,400 checks
- Previous stimulus checks were delivered faster to wealthy whites than to Black and Hispanic families
The House’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan is moving forward, with its proposal of sending $1,400 to every person who got the first two payments, along with some others who were left out of earlier spending packages. It’s still unclear if this new bill will be race conscious for Black and Latinx citizens who have systematically received their checks at a slower rate. Since racial disparities are primarily produced and maintained by colorblind policies and practices, it’s possible this new bill may not address lingering concerns leftover from the first stimulus CARES Act and the second HEROES Act.
Why This Matters: Centering racial equity in a new stimulus bill is crucial, we need legislation to not overlook marginalized unbanked communities, who are most vulnerable to the pandemic. The Black community makes up 18.2% of the unbanked and 31.1% of the underbanked group in the U.S., according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. It’s also important to clear up the stereotype that Black people use these government benefits more than others, when in fact white Americans have always been the largest share of safety net beneficiaries.
There are 10.1 million people without jobs, that number is far worse in the Black community as unemployment now stands at 9.2%
The new bill would boost weekly unemployment benefits from $300 to $400, including funding for small businesses, schools, cities and states. A third round of $1,400 checks should allow nearly 23 million adults to pay their expenses for more than four months, according to Morning Consult.
Even though unemployment numbers have fallen in the last month down to 6.3% in January, the economy is still in crisis mode. There are 10.1 million people without jobs, that number is far worse in the Black community as unemployment now stands at 9.2%, and remains the highest among large racial groups. Let’s hope people of color will receive these second checks a lot quicker than they did the first time.
A study by the Urban Institute found discriminatory outcomes with stimulus checks that were delivered faster to wealthy whites than to Black and Hispanic families, as well as to lower-income households. Specifically, three-quarters of White adults received their checks by late May, compared with 69% of Black adults and 63% of Hispanic adults.
What’s Next: The biggest hiccup in the bill is a provision in the House measure that would raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025. With the Senate likely to take up the measure this week, they will need to iron out this wrinkle. Democrats are rushing to send the bill to Biden’s desk by March 14, when jobless benefits are set to expire.
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