It's official: In the 2020 election, Donald Trump will be running against Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. With the Democratic ticket now confirmed, it's a good time to look at how things could change after the election if the blue team takes the country's highest office.
One of the big things Americans may be watching for is information on how the next president will help those who are struggling during the 2020 recession -- and, in particular, what type of coronavirus relief will be provided.
The good news for those hoping for more stimulus money to see them through these troubled times is that potential future VP Harris has signed on to an unorthodox stimulus proposal that happens to be a very generous one.
Kamala Harris wants to provide Americans with ongoing stimulus funds throughout the pandemic
Before she was Biden's VP pick, Senator Harris signed on to a stimulus plan called the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act. It would provide most households with a $2,000 monthly payment for each family member during the duration of the COVID-19 crisis.
Under the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act, individuals with incomes below $120,000 would receive a $2,000 monthly check, with married couples who file joint tax returns receiving $4,000 total. An additional $2,000 would be available per child up to a maximum of three children.
Americans would receive this money retroactively to March, when the economic chaos from COVID-19 first began. Data from federal benefits programs would be used to ensure funds were sent to every U.S. resident, even those who haven't filed recent tax returns or who do not have Social Security numbers.
And the payments would continue until three months after the coronavirus pandemic ends.
Will Americans receive this much money if Biden-Harris take the oval office?
Senator Harris' proposal is an unorthodox one, but other countries have provided ongoing stimulus payments even though the U.S. has not, so it's not completely out of bounds.
However, the costs of such a bill would be substantial, which makes it unlikely Congress would sign on. However, the very fact that Harris co-introduced such a bill and spoke in support of it suggests the next administration would likely take a different approach to providing stimulus money that might perhaps be far more generous than what the current administration has proposed.
Whether Biden and Harris would suggest ongoing payments or be able to get a bill passed will likely depend on which political party holds the majority in the House and Senate following the 2020 election. If Congress remains divided, then the chances of such generous COVID-19 relief are substantially lower.
The state of the economy and the number of COVID-19 cases nationwide would also affect what a Biden-Harris administration can and will aim to do if there's a change in power. If cases are still spiking and unemployment remains high, the new president and VP will likely act with more urgency to provide generous aid.
Bolster your own finances, don't count on more stimulus money
There's no guarantee that the Biden-Harris ticket will win the election this November. And even if they do, and a Democratic president and VP are successful in passing another more generous stimulus bill, it will be many months before Americans see the money.
You can't afford to wait for more stimulus funds to make sure your finances are in order. Instead, you should take a close look at your financial situation now to see if you're well prepared to withstand a recession. Saving cash, bulking up your emergency fund, making sound investments in case of another market crash, and reviewing your asset allocation should all be on your to-do list.
Spending your time taking care of these tasks, as well as exploring other benefits and relief if you're struggling, will help to ensure that you're on good shape even if Sen. Harris can't help provide a big COVID-19 payment if she becomes vice president.