Students interpret the newest stimulus check

Washington —  Adult dependants will now be eligible to receive the expected 1,400 stimulus check. President Biden signed the American Rescue Act bill at around noon PST. Yesterday, Congress met at 6 a.m. PST to discuss the stimulus bill, also known as the H.R 1319. After about three hours of debating H.R 1319, the bill passed again – this occurrence being the second time – with the amendments made by the Senate. 

The bill passed with 220 Yays and 211 Nays. According to C-SPAN, Democrat Rep. Jared Golden (ME-2nd) voted across party lines, voting nay on the 1.9 trillion stimulus bill. Repubulican, Rep. Tom Tiffany (WI- 17th) did not vote on the bill. 

According to C-SPAN, the Senate passed the 1.9 trillion dollar stimulus bill on March 6 with zero Republican support. C-SPAN also said the Senate made some changes to the original bill sent by Congress the first time. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, adult dependents have been left behind when it comes to stimulus support. In May 2020, CSUMB sent students an official email saying they would receive a one time CARES Act grant, which the federal government offered to universities to distribute to their students last spring. But, these grants alone, without help from stimulus checks, did not offer enough financial support to some students. Because of this, some California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) students felt left behind by government officials. 

Caitlyn Gonzalez is a collaborative health and human services major at CSUMB who said she is frustrated with government entities assuming adult dependents don’t need stimulus support. Parents are not able to provide all the financial support needed since they have their own bills to pay. 

Gonzalez, who is unable to work and does not qualify for unemployment, said the stimulus would’ve been her only source of income. Having no access to the last two stimulus checks forced Gonzalez to begin working in the sex industry. She created an OnlyFans page to make ends meet. 

The money helps pay for her antidepressant, birth control medication and recently the additional expense of having a service dog, who helps facilitate her mental health issues, which have worsened due to the pandemic. 

“I literally do not have a choice,” Gonzalez said. “It is either sex work, or have no money. I am a sex worker who is working her way towards a degree that will help me advocate for other sex workers and vulnerable populations.”

Gonzalez said she is aware having an OnlyFans page could “scare” future employers, but added: “do I really want to be employed by an entity that does not respect everyone and their choice of work and survival? No.” 

Yesterday Congress voted and sent the 1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan to President Biden’s desk, but CSUMB students in interviews (prior to President Biden signing H.R 1319) expressed their skepticism of the promises made about stimulus check distribution.

“I’ll believe [the stimulus check] when I see it,” said CSUMB humanities and communication studies major Zack Urango. “I’m not going to be disappointed by our government again, therefore I won’t raise my hopes.” 

Due to the economic changes the pandemic started, Urango wasn’t able to get rehired at his job. Since his job freezed and he has not received the stimulus support, he’s been less confident to spend money on anything other than the bare necessities due to the uncertainty of the future. 

“(The stimulus check would grant me) much needed breathing room,” said Uragno. “On top of that, it’ll create a great launching pad for me to begin the next chapter of my life when I graduate.” 

Gonzalez shared a similar outlook to Urango. “I will believe it when I see it,” she said. 

“I do not believe these promises or claims anymore. I want to see action. I want to see the checks being sent out,” said Gonzalez. “I want to see it happening. Until then, I will not be holding my breath for my stimulus check. I have lost faith in the government’s ability to keep us safe. They are playing with our lives and it is unacceptable.” 

In an earlier interview, Congressman Panetta (CA-20th) said: “During the pandemic, it has fallen on the federal government to provide the necessary support to ensure that students in college are not derailed by COVID-19.”

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