Joe Biden chose Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate in the November presidential election. Now, many are interested about Harris’ stance on stimulus checks, a position she has been very vocal about in recent months. Harris’ stimulus proposal would send monthly payments to millions of Americans and would even provide retroactive payment for every month of the pandemic dating back to March.
When is the earliest that these payments could start?
It’s unlikely that a monthly payment plan will begin unless Harris and Biden are elected and the Senate flips towards a Democratic majority, both of which could happen in November.
In the meantime, Congress has been unable to come to any sort of compromise regarding another stimulus package. Though Democratic and Republican lawmakers met for several days of negotiations over the HEALS Act in July, those conversations eventually broke down. This means that it’s unlikely that anyone will receive a stimulus check before September at the earliest, and that a second round of payments might not come at all during the remainder of Trump’s first term.
Here’s what you need to know:
You Might Start Getting Checks in December 2020 or in the New Year
The Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act, introduced by Harris and two other senators in May, would send $2,000 per month to individuals and $4,000 to married couples who file jointly, along with an additional $2,000 per child, up to three children. Any individual earning under $120,000 would be eligible; the payments would be reduced for income over $100,000 for individuals or $200,000 for married couples. The payments would be phased out by 10% of any amount over these limits.
Harris’ stimulus plan could pass Congress and become a reality at the end of this year or the beginning of 2021, pending a few key factors.
First, Harris and Biden would have to win the election in November. Second, the Senate would have to swing towards a Democratic majority; otherwise, it would be virtually impossible to pass such a plan for stimulus checks, given how resistant the current Republican-led Senate is on passing any plan for stimulus checks.
Lastly, the status of the pandemic a few months from now would play a large factor. Support for monthly payments in December or January would be largely impacted by the current status of the virus (if businesses and schools have been able to re-open and stay open, for example), as well as the current status of the country’s economy and unemployment rate.
It’s also possible that Harris might stop pushing for her stimulus check proposal now that she’s been named vice president on the Democratic ticket. Though she was extremely vocal about Americans’ need for monthly financial support in the months leading up to the announcement, she hasn’t said anything about stimulus checks since she was chosen. This could be an indication that she will not prioritize stimulus payments as a platform in the months to come.
Biden Has Not Yet Given His Public Support for Harris’ Stimulus Plan
Though Biden has selected Harris as his running mate for the election, he hasn’t yet spoken at length about where he aligns with her policy views. He hasn’t gotten into the specifics of any of Harris’ stances, including her proposal for a monthly stimulus check throughout the pandemic.
Biden himself has made virtually no public comment about stimulus checks, either. His official website indicates he would do the following to remedy the pandemic-induced crisis in America:
- Provide another stimulus check “should conditions require.”
- Forgive $10,000 per person of federal student loans, minimum.
- Increase monthly Social Security checks by $200 each.
- Offer emergency paid sick leave to every American worker.
- Ensure that no one has to pay out of pocket for COVID-19 testing, treatment or any future relevant vaccine.
- Provide “all necessary fiscal relief.”