Don’t give up on a 2nd stimulus check — here’s the possible timing
Sun, October 11, 2020, 12:36 PM CDT
Members of both major political parties have claimed they support a second round of those $1,200 coronavirus “stimulus checks” to give households a financial boost and stimulate the economy.
But if you’ve tried following the maneuvering in Washington over new COVID relief, you probably have a serious case of whiplash by now.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin have been talking again — days after President Donald Trump declared on Twitter that the White House was walking away from the negotiating table.
Later, Trump tweeted that he’d be willing to sign a stand-alone bill containing only more of the direct payments to Americans. By Friday, he was cheering on the negotiators to “Go Big!”
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A deal doesn’t seem close, but with an election coming up it’s too for cash-strapped consumers to give up hope. Here’s what we currently know about when or if you’ll get additional coronavirus money from the government.
2nd stimulus checks: What’s happening?
Stack of 20 dollar bills with US Treasure illustrative check to illustrate coronavirus stimulus payment on white background
Steve Heap / Shutterstock
It’s been more than six months since Trump signed the law that gave you your first — and so far only — stimulus check. (Which were mostly in the form of direct deposits, not check.)
The typical payment was $1,200, though the amount phased out for Americans with higher incomes. Families received $500 per child, but only up to age 16.
Households devastated by layoffs and lockdowns used the cash to buy food or pay bills. Americans in better financial shape went splurging, or used the money for more practical purposes like buying affordable life insurance to protect family members if a breadwinner died from the virus.
At the start of October, the Democratic-controlled U.S. House approved a new $2.2 trillion bill offering $1,200 for most taxpayers plus $500 per dependent. But the House needs to make a deal with the Republicans in charge of the Senate and the White House.
Following his recent hospitalization for COVID-19, the president tweeted that Speaker Pelosi was “not negotiating in good faith” and said he had instructed his side to stop bargaining until after the Nov. 3 election.
But on Friday, he indicated that the talks were back on. “Covid Relief Negotiations are moving along. Go Big!” he said on Twitter.
How soon could you get more stimulus money?
With unemployment still high and with cooler weather bringing predictions of new infection spikes and new lockdowns, many consumers have been hoping for another $1,200.
The White House is now proposing that new direct payments be part of a $1.8 trillion aid measure, which is $400 billion smaller than the House bill.
Pelosi has dismissed the offer as “insufficient,” and “one step forward, two steps back.” Meanwhile, Senate Republicans think the White House package is too big.
No one gets any money until negotiators can agree on a bill that would pass the House and Senate, then be signed by the president.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says all of that coming together is “unlikely in the next three weeks.”
Once legislation is passed, money could flow relatively quickly because the government has already been through the process once this year.
If McConnell is wrong and a deal can be reached this month, before Election Day, money could start finding its way into Americans pockets in November.
If new COVID relief for Americans has to wait until after the election, it’s unlikely new stimulus checks would go out before December.