Second stimulus check amount: Latest on how much the next payment will be

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Could a second stimulus check bring more relief money than the first, or less?

Sarah Tew/CNET

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The Senate has committed to another stimulus check as part of the next rescue bill, but who will qualify for the second round, and the amount of money included in each payment, is anyone’s guess.

“We want another round of direct payments,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday. “Direct payments to help families keep driving our national comeback.”

The Republican-led Senate wants to narrow down the figure, along with its proposal, as quickly as possible, anticipating fierce negotiations with the Democrat-led House of Representatives over the next several weeks. It’s too soon to tell whether the second stimulus check will be larger or smaller than the first, but we’ve been closely following the range of proposals.

The final amount could depend on the total bill, say if it’s worth $1 trillion all the way up to $3 trillion, and how it’s sliced up. We lay out the possibilities below. This story frequently updates to reflect new developments.

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How large could a second stimulus check be?

Various leaders in Washington have proposed different stimulus ideas and dollar amounts for qualifying individuals.

Second stimulus check proposals

Amount Proposer Proposal details
$0 White House Payroll tax cut so workers keep more of their paychecks.
$0 White House Business tax break for companies who don’t furlough workers.
Less than $1,200 White House Smaller checks targeted at low-income Americans.
$1,200 House of Representatives Part of the Heroes Act passed by the House in May (not law).
More than $1,200 White House Stated by President Donald Trump.
$2,000 a month until the economy recovers More than 150 economists “Emergency Money” payment for Americans to continue spending, one road to economic recovery.
$2,000 a month until after pandemic ends Sen. Kamala Harris Payments through the end of the pandemic and three months after.
$2,000 a month for up to 12 months Rep. Ro Khanna Monthly payments up to a year.
$4,000 travel tax credit White House A temporary tax credit to cover individual and family travel expenses, meant to rev up local economies.

Could the second stimulus check be smaller than the first?

A second stimulus payment won’t be as much as the first, White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said July 10. That aligns with statements from McConnell, who has indicated that the next stimulus package will have a $1 trillion cap.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, has made her disagreement clear.

“A trillion dollars is … an interesting starting point, but it doesn’t come anywhere near,” Pelosi said July 9. “We need $1 trillion for state and local [assistance]. We need another $1 trillion for unemployment insurance and direct payments. We need something like that, but probably not as much, for the [coronavirus] testingtracing, treatment,” she said. “What doesn’t measure up is, ‘Oh, it can only be a trillion dollars.'”

McConnell had previously stressed that the focus of another bill will be narrow and, if approved, will be the last coronavirus-related rescue package. Republican senators are focused on including incentives to bring people back to work. The final total is anything but decided.

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The president said he supports another round of direct payments.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The White House would like a larger second stimulus check

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

“I support actually larger numbers than the Democrats,” Trump said July 1, referring to the $1,200-per-person amount the Democrat-led House 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.

Kudlow echoed the president’s support, telling Fox Business this month, “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.”

The Chair of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell made the case for more stimulus money in prepared remarks before the House Financial Services Committee 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 intends to weigh the benefits of a second check this month.

Could more Americans be eligible for a new direct payment than before?

The House of Representatives passed the Heroes Act on May 15. The bill, which has not cleared 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 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 instead of a Social Security number would qualify for a payment.

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

When will we hear more stimulus check news?

The Senate has now returned to Washington and will have three weeks until Aug. 7 to pass another stimulus bill before a month-long recess.

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.