Joe Biden will be the 46th president of the United States, a projection called on Saturday by every major US news organization. While he already— which includes a of — it isn’t something Biden could act on until after the presidential inauguration on Jan. 20. Even then, passing is up to Congress, with the signature of the sitting president enshrining it as law.
It isn’t clear exactly how the Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump, or senatorial runoffs in Georgia — which could decide if Democrats or Republicans will control the chamber — will affect the path of, but it’s almost guaranteed to have an impact on , and on whether more direct payment is included in the bill or cut out.
Here are some possible scenarios for the current proposal, a new proposal and if there’s no resolution on a stimulus bill by inauguration. (And here’sif no bill is passed before 2021.)
Current $1.9 trillion White House package could be off the table
Thethat was is now called into question after Trump’s loss. Trump said on Oct. 27 he’d deliver “the best stimulus package you’ve ever seen” on the condition that he won re-election and Republicans controlled the Senate and House of Representatives.
By Friday, the administration already seemed to change its tune.
“Sen. McConnell and for that matter President Trump, and (Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin) and I and the others … we would like to negotiate a package,” White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said, The Chicago Tribune reported. “It would still be a targeted package to specific areas. We’re not interested in two or three trillion dollars.”
This package included aand some that could have helped to get .
Senate could start a new proposal, with or without a stimulus check
The Republican-controlled Senate returns to Washington on Monday to complete its term before the new set of members is sworn in Jan. 3. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell last week called for a narrow package to pass by the end of 2020, reversing course, having previously said that it should come in 2021.
“We need another rescue package … I think we need to do it and I think we need to do it before the end of the year,” McConnell said Nov. 4, calling passage of a relief bill “job one.”
While pundits think McConnell will seek to push through a targeted deal without a stimulus check, the, which he sought to pass, included a $1,200 direct payment, with additional money given to families with .
Meanwhile, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi rejected the idea of a smaller bill on Friday. “That isn’t anything that we should even be looking at,” she said.
Bill of some sort could pass before Dec. 31, 2020
Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate say they’re motivated to pass a bill before the year’s end, but they have deeply divided visions for what that will look like, which could potentially once again end in a stalemate. It’s also possible that at least some aid could squeak through before the end of the year, as part of a Dec. 11 bill to keep the government from shutting down.
As Senate leader, McConnell decides when to bring legislation to a vote. His new statement may signal one less hurdle to pass a bill, but another stimulus check still isn’t guaranteed to be part of it.
Trump would need to sign any bill for it to become law.
Or it may wait until after Jan. 20, 2021 inauguration
If a stimulus package with a stimulus check isn’t agreed on, or passed both chambers and Trump were to veto, the new Congress and White House administration could try again in late January after Biden’s swearing-in as president.
A senatorial run-off in Georgia could potentially give Democrats control over the Senate in addition to the House, creating a scenario in which they might be able to push a larger stimulus package through. However, if Republicans maintain their majority, any proposal would have to receive bipartisan agreement to have a chance to pass. Until that happens, there won’t be a second stimulus check.
Some qualifications might change or stay the same, if…
Democratic and Republican negotiators both want to makefrom the , but have different ideas about who should .
For example, the Democratic proposals support sending certain undocumented immigrants to the US who pay taxes the same $1,200 stimulus check afforded to, as well as . They’d also either broaden the to include college students and , or else approve of $1,000 per child dependent instead of $500 apiece. There may also be changes to .
It’s also possible a new bill could clarify if people. The issue is under current legal review.
New eligibility rules may get you a bigger or smaller payment
New qualifications might dictate a new total amount of stimulus payment for you. We’ve made some calculations to. In addition to changes in a bill that would show up in your next direct payment, there may be changes to your life circumstances since last April that could alter the size of a second check, in either direction. For more details, this is how would be.
For more information about stimulus checks, here’s what to doand how to .