Stimulus Check Smackdown: HEALS Act vs. HEROES Act

Which stimulus check plan will come out on top: The lean and mean HEALS Act version, or the beefy HEROES Act challenger?

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., for the summer's main event – an epic heavyweight battle between two competing stimulus check plans. This much anticipated match-up will decide how much money you're going to get if the federal government mails out a second round of economic stimulus payments. This is the battle America has been waiting for!

It's time to introduce the opposing proposals. In the red corner, weighing in at a scrappy $306 billion (estimate) from the Senate Republicans, we have the HEALS Act plan. It's the closest in form and amount to the reigning champion of stimulus checks – the CARES Act payments. In the blue corner, weighing in at a hefty $413 billion (estimate) from the House Democrats, we have the HEROES Act plan. It goes well beyond the CARES Act in several respects, especially when it comes to extra payments for dependents and eligibility requirements.

As the Congressional leaders come to the center of the ring for instructions, let's remind the viewers at home that this is a political fight. So, headbutts, eye gouging and hitting below the belt are to be expected. But before the brawl begins in full force, let's run down the "tale of the tape" for each of these plans so you can see how the two proposals stack up against each other in five important categories.

Rocky Mengle
Senior Tax Editor,

Rocky was a Senior Tax Editor for Kiplinger from October 2018 to January 2023. He has more than 20 years of experience covering federal and state tax developments. Before coming to Kiplinger, he worked for Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting and Kleinrock Publishing, where he provided breaking news and guidance for CPAs, tax attorneys, and other tax professionals. He has also been quoted as an expert by USA Today, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Reuters, Accounting Today, and other media outlets. Rocky has a law degree from the University of Connecticut and a B.A. in History from Salisbury University.