Press Release COVID-19 Economic Crisis and Recovery Inequality

In Competing Versions of Pandemic Relief Bills, One-Parent Families Lose

July 30, 2020

Contact: Karen Conner, 202-281-4159Mail_Outline

Washington DC — Family inequities are found in both the Senate Republican’s newly proposed HEALS Act and the HEROS Act, which passed the House in May.  Shortchanged are about 9.6 million parents who are neither married nor partnered and who live with one or more of their own minor children, according to a new analysis released today by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) and Family Story.  

Coauthors, Shawn Fremstad and Nicole Rodgers do the math to show how, under the Republican Senate HEALS Act, a household of two married people with no children would receive $2,400, while a household of one parent and one child would receive just $1,700.  “This is a missed opportunity to help those struggling the most — children raised in one-parent households. Those households have a much lower income, on average,” said Rodgers.

The House version equalizes the amount of one-time cash payments for adults and children, which is a key difference from the Senate proposal in how the bill distributes stimulus payments. However, both bills set income phase-out thresholds much lower for one-parent households with children than married couples with no children. 

“There is no sound rationale for setting the phase-out threshold so much lower for one-parent households with children than married couples with no children,” Fremstad said of both bills. 

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