COVID-19 Stimulus Check: Here’s the New Second Round Timeline [UPDATED]

Steve Mnuchin

Stimulus Check

Negotiations around the next stimulus package stalled on Friday, August 7, CNN reports. After five days of lengthy conversations, Republican and Democrat lawmakers are no closer to an agreement on the next stimulus package, which means that the next stimulus check has not been approved. Congress was supposed to go on recess from August 8 to September. So what happens now?

As a result of the stalled conversations, Trump is expected to announce a series of executive orders over the weekend, including one that extends unemployment benefits, which expired on July 31. However, those executive orders are not believed to include one related to stimulus payments. Some lawmakers have indicated that they will delay summer recess for further negotiations, and others have said that Friday, August 7, was a hard deadline for them.

Here’s what you need to know:

Updated Timeline for Stimulus Payments & Negotiations: Lawmakers Delaying Summer Recess

Summer break for many lawmakers was supposed to start on Saturday, August 8, and go on for several weeks. This break has been delayed for some lawmakers, though, so that a consensus for the stimulus package can be reached. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed this delay to reporters earlier this week. He said, “We’ll certainly be in next week. We’ll see what happens after that.”

McConnell did not provide a timeline for the next round of negotiations. He also didn’t clarify what would happen if the negotiations continued to stall throughout the next week.

If Congress can’t come to an agreement and eventually ends up going on summer break, then Americans should expect their next stimulus payment to come no earlier than mid-September.

As for what’s causing the stall in negotiations, there seem to be many factors. According to Forbes, lawmakers couldn’t agree on the topics of enhanced unemployment benefits, and aid to state and local governments. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told reporters that Republicans offered a compromise on unemployment benefits, but Democrat lawmakers didn’t take the compromise.

In a press conference on August 7, President Trump listed the numerous things he plans to accomplish via executive order; the second round of stimulus payments was not on that list.

He said in part, “My administration continues to work in good faith to reach an agreement with Democrats in Congress to extend unemployment benefits, provide protections against evictions…tragically Nancy Pelosi and chuck Schumer continue to exist with radical leftwing policies that have nothing to do with the China virus.”

What’s on the Table With the Current Stimulus Check? [Amount & Eligibility]

The latest stimulus package was revealed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at the end of July. It’s called the HEALS Act (Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection & Schools Act) and includes an identical stimulus check proposal as the first one, which came from the CARES Act in March.

Eligibility for a second round of stimulus payments will be based on your most recent adjusted gross income. The general structure of the stimulus check amounts, as established in the CARES Act, is:

  • Single filers who earn $75,000 or less annually will get $1,200.
  • Single filers who earn more than $75,000 will see their payment amount reduced by 5% of the amount they earn over $75,000, up to $99,000 as the cutoff point.
  • Joint filers who earn less than $150,000 a year will get the full benefit.
  • Joint filers who earn more than $150,000 will see their payment amount reduced by 5% of the amount they earn, up to $198,000.

People who were excluded from the CARES Act will likely be excluded from the HEALS Act, barring any major negotiations or concessions between Republicans and Democrats in Congress. People without social security numbers, people who file their taxes with TIN numbers, people in prison, and otherse will be among the exclusions.

Although Democrats have previously pushed for a higher amount and more expansive eligibility requirements with the next stimulus payment (the HEROES Act, for example, offers more money to a greater amount of people), there haven’t been many comments made by either camp about disagreements regarding stimulus checks during last week’s negotiations. For this reason, it’s possible that the eligibility and amount criteria laid out above could remain the same in the final legislation.

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