On Thursday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Trump administration is “very seriously considering” another round of direct relief payments to qualifying Americans in light of the economic distress caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking before the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Mnuchin said, “I think we’re going to seriously look at whether we want to do more direct money to stimulate the economy. But I think this is all going to be about getting people back to work, and we look forward to working with the entire Senate on this one.”
Republicans & Democrats Have Yet to Reach a Consensus on a New Stimulus Package
Under the CARES Act, qualifying Americans received what was intended as a one-time payment of $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married couples. There was also an extra $500 payment for each dependent child under age 17.
The latest stimulus package proposal, the HEROES Act, was passed in the Democratic-led House and includes a second round of stimulus checks. The HEROES Act would include an additional $1,200 each for up to three dependents — not just dependent children — as opposed to the $500 per child issued under the CARES Act.
While Trump has said on more than one occasion that he believes a second round of direct payments is “likely“, Senate Republicans have been skeptical about issuing a second check.
AS.com reported that Republicans said they would rather “focus their attention on Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program rather than sending Americans checks.”
Many have even dismissed the HEROES Act legislation as “dead on arrival,” according to AS.com.
Americans, however, are excited about the prospect of another check. According to Forbes, a recent poll from OnePoll shows that 82% of Americans want a monthly stimulus check.
What’s the Timeline?
CNET writes that “momentum is building toward a second stimulus check” while acknowledging that “much is up in the air.”
According to The Hill, Republicans in the Senate have stated that they would not draft new stimulus legislation until July.
CBS said that another relief package wouldn’t be passed by the Senate until at least mid-July.
Democrats have urged Republicans to move quickly. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said, “If we do nothing, more Americans will lose their jobs. More Americans will lose their health care. More Americans will struggle to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads. And more Americans will see the small businesses that they sweated so hard to create fail,” according to CBS.
CNET has outlined three possible outcomes for the HEROES Act: It could morph into a different relief package through bipartisan negotiation, it could fail and another proposal could take its place or the bill could fall apart until a new proposal is on the table.