U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist is calling on two additional stimulus payments in the upcoming legislative packages known as CARES 2.
Crist did not specify how much the checks should be. The first round of checks has already gone out to many Americans and provides $1,200 per adult and $500 per dependent child for qualifying individuals and families.
“Unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures,” Crist said. “People across our country are struggling through no fault of their own. These stimulus checks are a lifeline, particularly in Florida, whose failing unemployment system is also limiting the flow of federal unemployment relief currently going out in every other state in our nation.”
Crist’s statement comes as thousands of Floridians are still waiting to receive unemployment benefits they applied for, in some cases, more than a month ago.
As of Friday, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity reported about 825,000 unique claims have been submitted since March 15. Of those, it has processed 610,000 claims, but only about 210,000 Floridians have received a check.
Crist is also calling on Congress to fix a drafting error that left college students and children with disabilities unable to receive their stimulus.
Most Americans with prior tax returns on file with the Internal Revenue Service received the CARES Act stimulus payment in mid-April. Others who didn’t have banking information on file with the IRS may still be waiting for the payment either by providing direct deposit information or by receiving a paper check.
Congress recently passed a supplemental aid packages totaling $484 billion to help small businesses and hospitals and to expand testing capabilities. President Donald Trump is expected to sign the package into law after it passed on bi-partisan lines.
Only four Republicans voted against it — U.S. Reps. Andy Biggs, Ken Buck, Jody Hice and Thomas Massie. All are members of the House Freedom Caucus.
Progressive Democratic U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio–Cortez also voted against it and independent Justin Amash voted “present.”
The Center for American Progress last week also called for a CARES 2 act for additional stimulus funds. That request targeted communities hit hardest by the pandemic, especially those that struggled economically before the crisis.
It’s unclear when, or if, another stimulus package would go through for Americans.