The pressure is on Congress to approve another relief package that includes aby the end of July, around the same time are set to expire. That’s an ominous deadline for the more than 16 million Americans who have filed unemployment benefits for the first time over the past 16 weeks — especially when there’s .
“It’s nearly impossible to look at the economy right now and not recognize that the unemployment insurance payments that have been going out, the cash that went out in April — those have helped people hang on,” Lily Roberts, director of economic mobility at the nonpartisan Center for American Progress, told CNET.
We dug through the Senate calendar and used the timeline for the first stimulus check as a model to parse out how much time Congress has to passand stay on schedule, what happens if they miss that deadline and when the IRS might send its first check, if approved. Read on to see what we discovered.
This story updates frequently with new information. If you’re still waiting on the first round of coronavirus payments, you can, learn and find possible .
Stimulus check decision: Why July 20 and Aug. 7 matter
“As soon as the Senate gets back [from its current break], we are going to sit down on a bipartisan basis with the Republicans and the Democrats,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC on July 9. He added that it will be a priority for the next legislation to be passed between July 20 and the end of the month.
These aren’t just arbitrary dates: They’re the days that the Senate is in session between lengthy recesses, and the deadline is tight.
This week: The Senate is currently on a planned recess that began Friday, July 3, and runs till this Friday, July 17. The Senate is scheduled to return to work on Monday, July 20. It’s expected that Senate members and their staff are using the break to collect data for work on a second package once the session resumes.
July 20 to Aug. 7: The Senate has three work weeks to craft, debate, negotiate and pass another stimulus package before its next recess. That gives the Senate 15 working days (not including weekends) until Aug. 7, the last day of its session.
What if the Senate misses the Aug. 7 ‘deadline’?
If the Senate doesn’t pass a new rescue package before its August recess — and Senate McConnell said the Senate will not work past Aug. 7 — here are the dates it has to work with through the end of summer and into fall.
Aug. 10 to Sept. 7: The Senate will break for its August recess, which lasts through Labor Day (Monday, Sept. 7). There are 32 days from the last date of the Senate session (Aug. 7) until the first day of the following session (Sept. 8). The Senate won’t work through the August break, McConnell said June 30.
If the Senate does take up a second stimulus package in July, a new bill authorizing the checks would need to pass both chambers on or before Friday, Aug. 7, to get through prior to the Senate’s August break.
Sept. 8 to Sept. 25: The Senate is back in session. If Congress doesn’t complete the stimulus package by the start of the August break, it would need to resume in September.
Sept. 30 to Oct 9: Following a two-day break on Sept. 28 and 29, the Senate will be in session to Oct. 9. The presidential election is scheduled for Nov. 3, and the Senate will return to work Nov. 9.
When could the IRS send a second stimulus payment?
It’s still possible for the IRS to start sending checks in August, if the House and Senate do give a second round of stimulus checks the green light by the end of July.
For reference, the president signed the CARES Act into law on March 27 and the first stimulus payments went out less than three weeks later, on April 15.
For the purpose of speculation only, let’s say that a new stimulus act becomes law on Friday, Aug. 7. Following the CARES Act timeline, the first checks could go out by Aug. 26.
It’s plausible, however, that the IRS could move even faster to send out the, since it already has the mechanism in place from the first batch, including a tool for people to and .
Factors like how many people would qualify for a payment the second time around could play a role in slowing down or speeding up this timeline.
What’s the final date I could receive a second stimulus check?
While we don’t know anything official — and won’t until another rescue package is official — we can draw on the experience of the first stimulus checks as a potential blueprint.
The IRS will have sent about 200 million checks by the time it’s done distributing payments. (The total US population is nearly 330 million people, according to the Census Bureau.)
At the beginning of June, the House Ways and Means Committee estimated (PDF) as many as 35 million Americans could still be owed a payment.
The IRS hasn’t responded to CNET’s questions about how many checks remain to be sent today, but the agency did say it will continue to disburse the final batches through the end of the year. If there are, however, it’s possible that it won’t take as long to send a second round of checks.
If you didn’t get your money yet,. If you’re worried you were supposed to receive your check and didn’t, .
What will it take to get a second stimulus check and what happens now?
The passage of a second round of IRS payments appears to depend on two things:and if lawmakers believe a direct payment to millions of people is the best way to respond to the .
For now, we wait till the Senate returns from its July recess to take up the next stimulus package. To receive a second check, the proposed rescue package would need to pass both the House and the Senate before receiving a signature from the president. Only then could it take effect.
After that, the IRS now has a system in place to organize and distribute those checks. But it could still be weeks more before you receive a payment.
We’ll continue to update this story with new information as it arises. While the future of a second stimulus bill remains undecided, we’ll share available resources aboutand , , and and how to .