COVID-19 Stimulus Checks: Second Round Payments [UPDATED]

IRS

Getty The IRS said that checks issued to dead people do not need to be returned.

More than 152 million Americans have received coronavirus stimulus checks over the past six weeks, but is another round of payments on the horizon?

A second stimulus check of up to $1,200 per person has been proposed through the HEROES Act. If passed by both the House and Senate and signed by President Donald Trump, the legislation would not only provide another round of stimulus checks, it would also issue payments of $1,200 per dependent for a maximum of three dependents, according to Forbes.

The likelihood of a second check, however, seems to be dwindling. On June 2, Senator Mitt Romney described another round of payments as “unlikely.” He said that, instead, Congress would be looking into unemployment benefits and “aid to states and cities and towns.”

What’s the latest news on the HEROES Act, and, specifically, on a second round of payments? Read on:


Second Stimulus Check: An Updated Timeline

President Trump Rally Hurricane Michael

GettyTrump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Three weeks ago, the House of Representatives narrowly passed the HEROES Act by a vote of 208 to 199. In order to become law, the Senate must pass the bill and then Trump has to sign it. But when is the Senate expected to vote?

In a statement to Market Watch, Height Capital Markets analysts said, “We expect that negotiations over a finalized version of the Phase 4 bill will take at least until the end of May. We expect a final package to come together successfully but note that passage will likely be delayed into June.”

Now, it seems that vote will not take place until July. According to The Hill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has not scheduled a vote on a Senate relief package before July 4.

Both the White House and Senate Republicans, who have control of that legislative body, have dismissed the HEROES Act. Not only has Trump called the bill “dead on arrival” but Senator John Kennedy, a Louisiana Republican, has also called it “DOA”, reports WWLTV.com.

From here, in the words of CNET, it’s possible that the HEROES Act could “morph” into a different aid package through bipartisan negotiation, it could fail and another proposal could take its place or the bill could “dissipate altogether” until a new proposal is on the table.


A Second Stimulus Check May Be “Unlikely”

Stimulus Bill Signing

GettyTreasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Vice President Mike Pence and Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) applaud U.S. President Donald Trump during a bill signing ceremony for H.R. 748, the CARES Act, in the Oval Office of the White House on March 27, 2020, in Washington, D.C.

In mid-May, two senior administration officials told CNBC that the White House would likely support another round of stimulus checks.

In a statement, the White House said, “As President Trump has said, we are going to ensure that we take care of all Americans so that we emerge from this challenge healthy, stronger, and with economic prosperity, which is why the White House is focused on pro-growth, middle-class tax and regulatory relief.”

With unemployment as high as 20% in some states, American citizens have expressed their need for another round of payments.

A recent poll from OnePoll shows that 82% of Americans feel a one-time stimulus check of $1,200 is “not enough to cover their expenses.” Instead, they feel stimulus checks should continue until the end of lockdowns, according to Forbes.

Forbes writes, “Congress likely will pass a new stimulus bill, but it may look different than the Heroes Act.”

In early June, however, sentiments surrounding a second bill changed in the wake of mounting protests across the country surrounding the death of George Floyd.

Senate Republican Whip John Thune has said that these protests “could” delay the next round of economic relief talks, according to The Hill.

Democrats, many of whom have championed the HEROES Act, have also shifted their focus to the passing of a law enforcement reform bill. On Tuesday, The Hill reports, Democrats “pressed for a resolution to condemn Trump’s order to disperse peaceful protesters in front of the White House Monday and to bar the president from deploying U.S. troops against peaceful protesters on American soil.”

This article will be updated with more information as it becomes available.

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