COVID-19 Stimulus Checks 2 Update: Could You Get a $4,000 Check?

COVID-19 stimulus checks

Getty Will there be a second stimulus check? Here's what you should know.

One amount that has been proposed for a second round of COVID-19 stimulus checks is $4,000. That’s the figure for a family of four, and it was proposed by a group of Republican senators. Is it still possible that you could get the $4,000 check?

The answer is that it is still possible because the proposal was never voted down. However, it’s looking less likely that a second round of COVID-19 stimulus checks will pass Congress at all, and if it does, it’s more likely to be in smaller amounts – $1,200 for each person with $3,400 for a family of four. There’s also a proposal for $2,000 monthly checks until three months after the pandemic ends, but that’s not likely to happen because it was proposed by a group of Democratic senators, including Joe Biden’s vice presidential running mate Kamala Harris. A second round of stimulus checks – including the amount – would have to make it through the Republican-controlled Senate, and it’s hard to imagine them handing her that victory with the election looming (not to mention their concerns about spending and deficits).

To break the deadlock, Republicans in the Senate put forth a streamlined plan they called the “skinny bill.” The skinny bill, though, did not include a second round of stimulus checks. Democrats then voted down the skinny bill anyway, calling it an “emaciated bill” that didn’t do enough for state and local governments in particular. And that’s where it stands today: With no action on stimulus checks.

Republicans blame Democrats. “The speaker has refused to sit down and negotiate unless we agree to something like a $2.5 trillion deal in advance,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Fox News Sunday. “…let’s not hold up the American workers and American businesses that need more support.”

Democrats blame Republicans. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told USA Today: “As they scramble to make up for this historic mistake, Senate Republicans appear dead-set on another bill which doesn’t come close to addressing the problems and is headed nowhere… This emaciated bill is only intended to help vulnerable Republican Senators by giving them a ‘check the box’ vote to maintain the appearance that they’re not held hostage by their extreme right-wing that doesn’t want to spend a nickel to help people.”

Here’s what you need to know:

Both Sides Have Stalled Because They Can’t Agree on the Overall Spending in the Second Stimulus Relief Plan

Mitch McConnell

GettySenate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Here’s the background on what’s been going on. For months, Democrats and Republicans in Congress haven’t been able to agree on a second COVID-19 stimulus relief plan. They’ve been having ongoing negotiations but those keep breaking down into wars of words. President Donald Trump is on the record as supporting a second round of stimulus checks, but the U.S. Constitution grants spending authority to Congress.

Thus, the president hasn’t tried to do them unilaterally like the action he took on enhanced unemployment benefits (which some described as illegal also.)

The sticking point doesn’t appear to be a second batch of stimulus checks. Both sides have repeatedly voiced their support for getting those done. But they’re folded into the larger plan, and neither side is budging on the overall pricetag, with the state and local aid emerging as a key sticking point. Democrats and Republicans have proposed their own plans, which include $1,200 stimulus checks generally following the same guidelines as last time. That’s why $4,000 isn’t likely; the compromise plan didn’t make it into Republicans’ official stance, which would give a family of four $600 less.

However, both do agree, at least preliminarily, that more dependents should be included this time around. That’s to fix the problem that some adult dependents, such as college students, were left out last time. Democrats would sweeten that pot a bit more, but even the Republican plan would get a family of four $3,400, which is an increase over last time.

The Democrats’ HEROES plan would give people $1,200, not $500, for dependents, but cap it at three children, Intelligencer wrote.

Then came the skinny or emaciated bill, depending on your point of view.

When the Senate Majority Leader unveiled a “skinny bill” of targeted relief on September 8, it didn’t include stimulus checks at all.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has sounded optimistic this September that a second stimulus relief package still might get done. He said there is a “groundswell of support among rank-and-file Democrats and Republicans,” according to Bloomberg. But so far it hasn’t happened, and due to Democrats voting down the skinny/emaciated bill and Republicans not including stimulus checks in it anyway, it’s looking less likely due to the election coming up. What happens after that could depend on who wins. According to Fox Business, Trump recently urged Congress “to approve a fresh round of $1,200 stimulus checks” by using $300 billion in “unused coronavirus relief funds.”

Who Proposed the $4,000 Number?

MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty ImagesUS Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) has publicly come out in favor of sending direct stimulus checks to Americans and other members of Congress are reportedly warm to the idea in the wake of today’s historic drop in the stockmarket and the near certainty of a near-term recession because of the coronavirus pandemic

The $4,000 figure comes from a group of Republicans who proposed it as a compromise and said they are trying to put the focus more on families. In July, the group of Republican senators, including Mitt Romney, proposed the compromise plan that would give people $1,000 checks and a total of $4,000 for a family of four. Thus, that plan would reward families with additional money, but single people would receive less than last time.

The senators are Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Steve Daines (R-MT), Mitt Romney (R-UT), and Marco Rubio (R-FL).

“As Congress continues to negotiate another economic response to the pandemic, we should prioritize direct assistance to those who need it most,” Rubio said. “American families are among the hardest hit, facing unexpected challenges like homeschooling, child care shortages, and unemployment. Congress must take steps to help ensure that parents and children are able to manage and recover from the impact of this crisis as the American people continue to navigate these uncertain times.”

They plan proposes that the government:

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.

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