Republicans and Democrats have generally agreed that there should be a second COVID-19 stimulus check, although the particulars are mired down in the debate over the full stimulus relief package, including disagreements over extended unemployment benefits.
However, the amount being proposed in the U.S. Senate would bring many Americans thousands of dollars in direct help – and some families might see as much as $3,400 or more.
That’s the calculation being presented for a family of four this time around. Each parent would get a $1,200 check, and each child would bring in another $500, totaling $3,400. Thus, if a family has more than two children, the amount would increase even higher. Eligibility would depend on the same income cutoff guidelines as last time: People would qualify if they earned less than $75,000 the prior year as an individual or $150,000 as a couple, and individuals who earned between $75,000 and $99,000 receive gradually lesser amounts.
President Donald Trump cited the $3,400 range in a July 31 tweet, writing, “The Democrats are holding back the $1,200 to $3,400 (family of four) checks that were ready to be sent out!”
However, there’s one change that would mean many Americans would see more money in the second round of checks than they got the first time around.
According to Fox Business, this time, families who have adult dependents (those over age 17) would get $500 for each adult dependent, whereas the previous package did not provide stimulus checks for adult dependents. This would allow parents of adult college students, for example, to get the payment for each child, as long as they remain an adult dependent.
“A married couple with two children could receive up to $3,400,” Fox explained. That’s where the higher number in Trump’s tweet comes from.
The plan still needs to come to a vote, but it’s believed that Democrats and Republicans have stalled on other disagreements, such as over the unemployment benefits, but generally agree on the need for a second stimulus check.
Here’s what you need to know:
A Countering Proposal in the U.S. Senate Would Give Families Even More Money
It’s possible the amount could go even higher than $3,400. Any plan needs to make it through the Republican-led Senate, and a group of Senate Republicans has introduced a countering proposal that would give every American $1,000 checks despite age or dependency status, within income guidelines. That would push a stimulus check total for a family of four to $4,000.
“The Coronavirus Assistance for American Families Act would provide payments of $1,000 for adults and children with Social Security numbers (SSNs). A family of four would receive an additional $600 more than under the CARES Act,” a press release from U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Steve Daines (R-MT), Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) reads.
The Republican senators pushing it are touting it as “family-focused,” and their press release says: “A family of four would receive an additional $600 more than under the CARES Act.”
“Much of the burden of the pandemic has fallen on parents and children. This legislation prioritizes their needs by providing resources for school supplies, childcare, and other unexpected expenses,” said Cassidy, who is a medical doctor.
According to the press release, this proposal would:
Disburse Economic Impact Payments of $1,000 for both adults and children with SSNs equally, $2,000 if filing jointly. A family of four would receive $4,000. Includes eligibility for adult dependents, including those with disabilities or college students. Includes eligibility for US citizens married to foreign nationals but does not include eligibility for foreign nationals or ITIN filers.
Other countering proposals are out there. Democratic Senator Kamala Harris, a contender for Joe Biden’s vice-presidential pick, tweeted, “Congress must immediately pass my bill with @BernieSanders and @EdMarkey to get $2,000 a month in Americans’ hands. We need direct monthly cash payments and we need them now.”
The Treasury Secretary Says the Bipartisan Support for a Second Check is ‘Enormous’
Underscoring the fact that it’s likely a second stimulus check will be approved, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on ABC’s This Week on Sunday: “There’s enormous bipartisan support” for a second round of stimulus checks.
When that will happen depends on how negotiations continue with the rest of the package. The Senate goes into recess on August 7, so the deadline to come up with a deal is looming fast.
Trump has also indicated his support for a second round of checks.