Millions of Americans are eagerly waiting for news on a second stimulus check, but is it possible that payments will be issued before the November election?
With Congress at a standstill on stimulus package negotiations, it’s unclear whether Americans will see a second stimulus check at all.
Both Republicans and Democrats initially vocalized support for a second round of $1,200 stimulus checks, but since then, negotiations have fallen apart, CNBC reported, with lawmakers struggling to agree on details of the larger package.
Earlier this month, Republican lawmakers attempted to pass a smaller, scaled-back relief bill that excluded a second stimulus check. The bill failed to pass, with Democrats urging Republicans to include a second payment in their proposal. CNBC quoted Representative Al Green as saying, “The economic impact payments must be made because the rent must be paid.”
If a second stimulus check comes, could it be before the November election?
Here’s what you need to know:
It Is Possible for Checks to Be Sent Out Before the Election
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said it would take approximately one week to begin sending out payments if a stimulus package is passed. During a press briefing in early August, Mnuchin said, “I can get out 50 million payments really quickly. A lot of it into people’s direct accounts.”
CNET speculated dates based on calendars from the House and the Senate and determined that if the Senate passes a bill on September 30 and the House votes on October 1, then it’s possible the president could sign on October 2 and the first round of checks could be sent the week of October 12.
Similarly, if the Senate passes a bill on October 9 and the House passes it on October 13, then the president could sign on October 14 and the IRS could begin sending checks the week of October 19.
The House and the Senate will break soon for the election, and with that recess looming, the window of time to reach an agreement on a larger aid package is closing.
As AS.com pointed out, the Senate is set to break on October 2 but is “prepared to postpone the start of its next break.” The House has already stated it would delay leaving for the November elections until a legislation agreement was reached.
‘The Wait Continues… With No End in Sight…’
In a recent article, Penn Live noted that a second payment may not come until after the election, or even until 2021. They reported, “By then, whoever controls the presidency and houses of Congress might decide that other issues are more important, or perhaps the global health crisis will slow to the point of making another stimulus check unneccesary, even though millions undoubtedly will still need it.”
On September 22, The Hill revealed that Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell will testify this week in “what will likely be his last chance to try to push Congress toward another coronavirus relief bill before Election Day.”
Powell, in the past, has urged Congress that relief for the American people is essential. He recently told reporters of the state of the economy without a stimulus package, “That will start to show up in economic activity. It’ll also show up in things like evictions and foreclosures and things that will scar and damage the economy.”
With the election about six weeks away, there is no saying whether or not Congress will reach a consensus on the details of a stimulus package.
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