Will a second COVID-19 stimulus check plan happen? Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is “predicting” that a second COVID-19 stimulus “rescue package” will happen, and he said it “could well” include second direct stimulus check payments to some Americans.
What form it will take, however, and whether people will get second stimulus checks, and in what amount, is all uncertain.
According to the Hill, McConnell made his strongest comments about a second stimulus check yet on July 21, saying, “Speaking of building on what worked in the CARES Act, we want another round of direct payments, direct payments to help American families keep driving our national comeback.”
McConnell didn’t specific income eligibility or amount, but there’s some indication Republicans could support a lower amount in addition to a lower income threshold. “Most Republicans want a lower income threshold to qualify for a potential second round of payments,” ABC13 reported.
In the first round of checks, Americans received checks if they earned between $75,000 and $99,000 in slowly reduced amounts, starting at a 1,200 payment.
According to Bloomberg, McConnell, a Republican, made the comments at a news conference in his home state of Kentucky. The news site reported that McConnell said: “We shouldn’t lightly add more to the national debt, but I’m predicting that we will have one more rescue package, which we’ll begin to debate and discuss next week.”
It’s likely that the GOP will put forward its own stimulus relief plan to counter the Democratic version, Bloomberg reported. Lots of things still need to be hashed out, according to Bloomberg. They include unemployment benefits, business hiring incentives, small business grants, stimulus checks to individuals, and more, Bloomberg reports.
As Americans wait to hear whether there will be a second round of COVID-19 stimulus checks, a new study says the first round of checks reduced poverty but that additional support will likely be needed to deal with shortcomings in the first package.
The stimulus checks were passed by Congress as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, “which included nearly $500 billion in direct income transfers for families across the country,” according to the Center on Poverty & Social Policy at Columbia University
Many Americans are hoping for a second COVID-19 stimulus check to help them get through the continuing pandemic. However, there’s one big roadblock standing between them and another check: The Republican-controlled Senate.
Democrats have already passed the bill for another check, called the HEROES Act, but the plan needs to make it through the Senate. However, there have been indications from some top Republicans and President Donald Trump that a second round of checks could happen, although the form they would take is unclear. McConnell’s latest comment increases those chances.
According to CNBC, the second round of stimulus checks could get families as much as $6,000, and they’d also include people who were left out the last time, like adult dependents (many of whom are college students.) Unemployment insurance would also be extended. However, that’s the Democratic plan, and it’s likely that a GOP plan would take a different form.
Here’s what you need to know
McConnell Says He Thinks People Earning Less Than $40,000 a Year Have Been Hit the Hardest
McConnell’s comments came on Monday, July 6 in Kentucky. Could there be a more stringent income limit on a second stimulus check? McConnell hinted maybe so, saying, “I think the people who have been hit the hardest are people who make about $40,000 a year or less. And many of them work in the hospitality industry.” He said the hospitality industry, hotels, restaurants, was hit hard. He added that the Senate will consider a proposal July 20.
Asked specifically whether there will be direct funding to individuals (a second stimulus check), he said, “could well,” and made the above comment, adding, “that could well be a part of it.”
He said he wanted to “take another look at this in July. Well, it’s now July.” Will there be another bill? he asked, referring to a stimulus check.
“I would predict in the next couple weeks if there’s a new rescue package, and I’m pretty sure there will be, I’ll be unveiling another one.”
He said liability protection will likely be one focus of it, for doctors, hospitals, universities, and so forth. He said “we can’t get back to normal if we end up having an epidemic of lawsuits.” He said “that will be in there.”
He said kids being in schools, jobs, and healthcare will also be in the new package. “I will be unveiling something that will be a starting place in a couple weeks.”
As for coronavirus, he said, “This is not over. We’re seeing a resurgence in many states.”
He urged people to wear a mask. He predicted there will be a vaccine more quickly than at any time in history. “We’re not going to shut the economy down again,” McConnell said.
McConnell has increasingly warmed up to the notion of a new stimulus check package in his public comments, initially sounding caution.
“You could anticipate the decision being made on whether to go forward in about a month,” McConnell said in early June. “And it will be narrowly crafted, designed to help us where we are a month from now, not where we were three months ago.”
McConnell has indicated a second package will “come soon” and said it will prioritize investing in “future generations,” but he didn’t explain exactly what that meant. He has advocated for COVID-19 liability shields for universities and corporations, according to Forbes.
It’s likely the package won’t take the exact form of the Democratic House HEROES Act, which McConnell pronounced “dead on arrival” back in May. “What you’ve seen in the House [from] Nancy is not something designed to deal with reality, but designed to deal with aspirations. This is not a time for aspirational legislation, this is a time for practical response to the coronavirus pandemic,” McConnell said at that time.
President Trump Says Another Stimulus Package Will Happen & It Will Be ‘Very Generous’
It’s not just Mitch McConnell. President Donald Trump is now on the record in support of a second stimulus package.
Trump said recently, “We will be doing another stimulus package, it will be very good, very generous.” Asked if there would be a second check, Trump also said, “We are, we are” and said it would be “very dramatic, very good.”
The Washington Post reported: “President Trump has told aides he is largely supportive of sending Americans another round of stimulus checks, expressing the belief that the payments will boost the economy and help his chances at reelection in November.”
The week of July 13, Trump said, “We are working on another stimulus package, and that will take place … very soon.”
Some Top Republicans Have Also Advocated for Back-to-Work Bonuses
At least one top Republican has floated making the second round of COVID-19 stimulus checks “back-to-work” bonuses instead. Back in May, Senator Rob Portman, D-Ohio, raised that idea instead of extending the federal unemployment insurance checks of $600 a week.
He told CNBC he was “talking to Republicans and Democrats about” giving people back-to-work bonuses instead.
“Why not provide a bonus to people to say, ‘If you go back to work, you can take some of this unemployment insurance with you.’ If you take $450, as an example, per week, remember this is per week, that would mean that in every state for minimum [wage] workers it would be more advantageous go back to work than to stay on unemployment insurance,” he said to the network then. “If you did a $450 bonus to workers, good for workers, they’re going to get their salary plus that.”
According to the Hill, a prominent GOP congressman introduced a similar plan for a “return to work bonus.” According to the Hill, the idea is “gaining traction among Republicans.”
Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, introduced a proposal to give people who return to work after getting unemployment benefits up to $1,200.
“Through a Return To Work Bonus — which would allow workers to keep up to two weeks of unemployment benefits if they accept a job offer — we can make sure these temporary job losses don’t turn into permanent ones,” Brady said in a statement.
Both of their plans call for the checks to stop July 31.