How likely is it that there will be another round of COVID-19 stimulus checks? What about monthly, recurring $2,000 checks, like in Canada? Some Americans might be surprised to know that there’s bipartisan support for the idea — but that doesn’t mean it’s happening anytime soon.
More than 130 million Americans have received their stimulus payment so far, the IRS reports. However, millions more are still waiting on their payments or having trouble with the IRS direct deposit portal.
What’s more, millions of Americans have said their stimulus payment was not enough to keep them above water and that they desperately need more money in order to keep from defaulting on their payments. According to a recent Bankrate survey, 31% of Americans say the first stimulus payment wasn’t enough to keep them going for one month.
Here’s what you need to know:
What Politicians Have Said So Far About Monthly, Recurring Stimulus Payments
In early April, President Donald Trump indicated he was willing to look into monthly stimulus payments for the American people. “We could very well do a second round of direct (payments),” he said. “It is absolutely under serious consideration.”
Later on in the month, White House Economic Advisor Kevin Hassett confirmed that the Trump administration is looking into whether or not Americans should receive a second round of stimulus checks due to the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
“I think that’s something that we are studying very carefully, that I know that people in the House are as well,” he said, per The Hill. “I expect it is very likely there will be a phase four deal and we’re going to be speaking with the president throughout the week about what he thinks should be in there.”
The primary source of support for additional stimulus payments has come from Democrats. Democratic Reps. Ro Khanna of California and Tim Ryan of Ohio have proposed The Emergency Money for the People Act, which would provide monthly, recurring payments of $2,000 to a wide swath of Americans for at least six months or until the pandemic is over. This bill has received support from other Democrats but no House Republicans so far.
Support for additional stimulus checks on the Republican side has been largely nonexistent, though a few Republicans have voiced their interest in looking into it. Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post endorsing the idea of additional relief funding for the American people. Hawley explained,
Beginning immediately, the federal government should cover 80 percent of wages for workers at any U.S. business, up to the national median wage, until this emergency is over. Further, it should offer businesses a bonus for rehiring workers laid off over the past month. The goal must be to get unemployment down — now — to secure American workers and their families, and to help businesses get ready to restart as soon as possible.
On the other side of the conversation, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has voiced concerns about adding to the national debt. McConnell told Politico on April 21, “The best way to get the economy back [up] and running is to begin to open it up again, rather than passing immediately another bill where we have to borrow.”