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Should we expect a new payment if Congress passes a second stimulus package this summer?


James Martin/CNET

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Congress, eyeing a US economy slowed by coronavirus closures, looks poised to sign off on another financial relief package this summer — and with it, a second stimulus check. For those struggling to make ends meet, the question is, how much will Congress allocate to a new stimulus payment for the summer?

“I’ll be unveiling something, which will be a starting place, in a few weeks,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday about a new stimulus package. And a new payment for individuals and families “could well be part of it,” he added.

As for the money? While the Senate remains tight-lipped, other proposals range from a single $1,200 payment up to $2,000 per month through the end of the pandemic. Read on for what we’re hearing. And here’s more information on when we think Washington will reach a decision and who might qualify for a second stimulus check if a new economic bill passes.


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How much money would a second stimulus check get you?

Washington leaders are talking about these possible stimulus figures for individuals:

These figures represent the maximum sum we’ve heard. As with the first stimulus check, it’s almost certain that Congress will include eligibility restrictions based on how much money you make annually, your age, the number of dependents you have and your US citizenship or residency status.


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What does President Trump and his administration say about a second stimulus check?

The president has, over the past few weeks, come out as a firm advocate of a second round of direct payment to Americans.

“I support actually larger numbers than the Democrats,” the president said July 1, referring to the $1,200-per-person amount the Democrat-led House of Representatives proposed in May. The Washington Post reported in June that the president has told aides he is largely supportive of sending a second round of checks to Americans.

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The president said he supports another round of direct payments.


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National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow echoed the president’s support, telling Fox Business last week, “Direct checks are probably going to be part of it, as far as the president is concerned right now.”

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also expressed support, telling reporters at a White House briefing, “We’re going to serious[ly] consider whether we’re going to put more payments and direct payments over. It worked very well.”

Further, Chair of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell made the case for more stimulus money in prepared remarks before the House committee on Financial Services on June 30. “A full [economic] recovery is unlikely until people are confident that it is safe to re-engage in a broad range of activities,” Powell said. “The path forward will also depend on the policy actions taken at all levels of government to provide relief and to support the recovery for as long as needed.”

The Senate’s view? Timing, smaller package, maybe no money at all

McConnell has consistently stated that the Senate will decide this month whether Americans will see a second stimulus check. “If there’s another one, it will come together in July,” he said in June.

And the majority leader is optimistic about a second package: “I think we will do something again. I think the country needs one last boost,” he said Monday.

His Republican colleague Sen. Roy Blunt seconded the July timeline. “I think the [July] timing is going to be just about right for us to know what we need to know for a package that moves us into August, September and October,” Blunt said June 30.

And while the Senate has not offered many specifics on what it will include in its proposal, McConnell has been clear what it won’t. “I can’t tell you what the amount is likely to be at this point, but it won’t be $3 trillion,” McConnell said late last month. He has previously stressed that the focus of another bill will be narrow and, if approved, will be the last. Republican senators are focused on including incentives to bring people back to work.

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The Senate intends to weigh the benefits of a second check this month.

A $1,200 one-time payment from the House’s Heroes Act?

The Democrat-led House of Representatives passed the Heroes Act on May 15. The bill, which has not passed the Senate and is not law, seeks larger payments for more family members, according to a fact sheet from the House Appropriations Committee (PDF). McConnell has already dismissed the bill, as has the president, who has called it DOA. Here are the broad outlines of the House coronavirus bill:

  • Individuals: An eligible person could receive up to $1,200.
  • Children and dependents: Each dependent could qualify for a $1,200 payment.
  • Families: Households would qualify for a maximum payment of $6,000 total, capped at five family members at $1,200 apiece.
  • People who aren’t US citizens: Noncitizens who file tax returns, pay taxes and otherwise comply with federal tax law using an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) instead of a Social Security number would qualify for a payment.

The bill would also extend many federal benefits set to expire this month.

Second stimulus check: What comes next?

It’s July, which puts us on the month-long deadline McConnell set for the Senate to decide on a second stimulus check. The House passed its Heroes Bill in May. With the Senate on a planned break till July 20, McConnell and the Republican-led Senate will have three weeks until Aug. 7 to craft its own stimulus package, if it does decide to move forward.

If you’re still waiting for your first stimulus check, here are 10 possible reasons for a delay and what you can do if you think your payment is lost or has fallen through the cracks.

source: cnet.com

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