(CW44 News At 10) – About 24 hours after President Donald Trump signed an economic relief package bill that would give each adult $600, the government is now voting on whether or not to increase that amount to $2,000 per adult.
On Monday, the House passed the new bill that would raise the payment. In order for the second stimulus check to be increased, the bill would need to be passed in the Senate as well.
Some families in the Tampa Bay area say $600 just isn’t enough. “It’s not enough to make ends meet,” said Pinellas County resident, Bilan Joseph.
Hillsborough County resident, Kristen Brown echoed, “We are just barely making it through.”
For many families across the country, this year has been financially draining. “We have so many people who are months and months behind on so many bills. They are trying to feed their families,” said Joseph.
Bilan Joseph works with several non-profits in the Tampa Bay area, including Thrive By Five, which helps get children ready for school by the age of five. She says many families she works with have lost their jobs. “They don’t have food to put on the table for their children. They don’t have enough money to keep the lights on. We now have a lot of people who have become homeless,” said Joseph.
She says $600 isn’t enough for a second stimulus check. “People are going to have to make real choices about whether or not they are going to use this money to go towards food to feed their children or are they going to use this little bit of money to put towards this bill or that bill,” said Joseph.
Kristen Brown, who works with a non-profit called TRIBE, says while she agrees $600 isn’t enough, anything will help struggling families. “The most important thing is to swiftly try to get aid into the hands of families,” said Brown.
Brown says she’s seen friends struggle paying unexpected bills. “Like emergency car repairs, and other emergency home type things, and it’s been a year that we’ve been dealing with this situation.” Both Brown and Joseph say, while $600 is some kind of financial assistance, they hope the government will do more.
Brown insists “$600 is not rent for even one month whereas depending on the cost of a family’s housing, two thousand dollars could be enough for a month of rent or more.”
While Joseph believes $2,000 is not an astronomical amount, she says”if you don’t have any money, two thousand might as well be a million.”
Brown says if you are not struggling financially, she recommends donating some of the next stimulus check to a family in need.
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