Will the US see a? The IRS and Treasury are hurriedly to from now until Jan. 15 — that’s — but there’s already talk of a third payment. President-elect Joe Biden committed to the concept of another stimulus check as part of a larger COVID-19 relief package than the .
“This bill is just the first step, a down payment, in addressing the crisis — crises, more than one — that we’re in,” Biden said Dec. 22 in the last days of negotiation. When asked by a reporter if a future package would contain the third stimulus check and how much money he would seek, Biden said, “That’s a negotiating issue… But it will, yes, it will.”
Like, the situation is complex. In the final days of 2020 up through Jan. 1, Trump, Congressional Democrats and a few Republicans attempted to raise the $600 per person limit in the to $2,000 maximum per eligible adult. That last-ditch effort failed, but it has in a serious way. Scattered lawmakers had suggested the figure before, but it never gained traction.
So would a third stimulus check, $1,200 like the first payment, $2,000 or some other amount? And does it have a chance to pass? We’ll share what we know in the leadup to . (And here’s how to .)
Georgia’s Jan. 5 Senate runoff election is key
Since November, analysts have noted that the Jan. 5 runoff elections for two Georgia Senate seats have outsized importance in the nation’s political priorities going into 2021 and beyond. If both Senate seats go to Democrats, that party wins the Senate by a whisper of a majority, with a 50-50 split and Vice President-elect breaking any ties.
If the GOP retains one or both seats, it remains in Republican hands. Either way, Biden will work with a deeply divided government.
So far, more Democrats have backed a larger stimulus check and bill than their Republican counterparts, though there are some notable exceptions. We’ll have to wait and see what happens. The tally could take weeks, especially if any results are contested.
The ‘problem’ with the $600 second stimulus check
With the first stimulus check topping out at $1,200 per person, supporters of a larger check criticize that recipients of a second check receive much less — but there’s more to it than that. Since the upper limit for a, with an extra , the way , more people will hit the upper income limit for receiving a second payment, which means they at all.
With that in mind, a third stimulus check could take several angles, from addressing some of the population that the second stimulus check would have missed, to potentially sending a fresh wave of economic relief to those in greatest financial straits.
Again, much could depend on, and what the new Biden administration sees as its goals in rehabilitating an economy weakened by the .
What else could be in a new stimulus bill for 2021
We already know some of, which he shared as part of his presidential campaign trail. There’s a good chance that he’d push Congress to revisit those agenda items, in addition to several programs left out of December’s by both Republicans and Democrats.
They could include measures like:
- A larger third stimulus check that could reach more people.
- past March.
- Renewing the past Jan. 31.
- Student loan deferrals or forgiveness for public schools.
- More money for state, local and tribal governments.
- More money for contact tracing, coronavirus testing and distribution.
- Liability protection for businesses against coronavirus-related lawsuits.
For more information, here’s how to, and a primer on the .