Millions of Americans are waiting to hear whether or not a second round of COVID-19 stimulus checks is going to happen. July 20 will mark an important date in this timeline.
July 20 marks the day that Congress returns from a 17-day, mid-summer recess. On this day, the Senate will be able to consider the latest stimulus proposal, the HEROES Act, which passed the House but is expected to be voted down in the Senate and is not supported by President Donald Trump. The HEROES Act doesn’t have a high likelihood of passage in the Senate — but another stimulus package might reach the Senate floor soon, as well.
Trump has promised a new stimulus package proposal from the Oval Office, one which will include “dramatic” stimulus checks. In an interview with reporters at the end of June, Trump said his administration would announce the proposal in the weeks to come. This means that Trump could announce the stimulus package proposal during Congress’ mid-summer break, and Congress could start considering the package for approval as early as the July 20 return date.
Here’s what you need to know:
Congress Will Be in Session From July 20 to August 8; After That, it Takes a Month-Long Recess
Any hopes of the passage of another stimulus package this summer will rest on the three-week period from mid-July to early August, during which the House and Senate will be in session and will be able to debate and vote on any given stimulus package that reaches the floor.
The Democrat-controlled House passed the HEROES Act and has reflected a majority interest in another round of stimulus checks. On the other hand, the GOP members of the Republican-controlled Senate have largely rejected the idea of another round of payments — until recently, when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated his potential support for a second round.
On July 6, McConnell spoke to reporters at a press conference about what he’s “looking for” in a stimulus package. He said, “So if you’re looking for what I think is a theme of a next package that I’m likely to roll out here in a few weeks, it would focus on liability reform, kids in school, jobs and health care.” As for whether he approved of a second round of checks, he said there “could well be” another round in the next stimulus package and added, “I think the people who have been hit the hardest are people who make about $40,000 a year or less.”
What Other Trump Officials Have Said About a Second Round of Payments for the American People
Though many GOP senators have consistently indicated their disinterest in a second round of payments, the Trump administration has consistently said otherwise. In an interview with FOXBusiness on July 2, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told FOXBusiness that the next stimulus package would be “a large-scale package.”
He continued, “Direct checks are probably going to be part of it, as far as the president is concerned right now.” Similarly, in a press conference on July 2, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the administration plans to “seriously consider” another round of payments.
Earlier in the month, Trump spoke with Scripps National Political Editor Joe St. George about whether the American people could expect another round of stimulus payments
St. George said to Trump, “I have a lot of viewers in Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan who are still struggling economically, sir. They spent all of that first stimulus check. Are you going to get them a second stimulus check?”
“Yeah, we are, we are,” Trump replied. When St. George pushed on a timeline, Trump said, “We had this going better than anyone’s ever seen before. We had the best job numbers, the best economics, the best economy we’ve ever had. And then we had the virus come in from China, and we’re rebuilding it again.”