Millions of Americans are still hoping that Congress will authorize a second COVID-19 stimulus check. What are the amounts on the table if Congress does? Is it possible you could get more than $3,000?
The answer is, yes, but only if you’re a family of four.
Here’s how it’s all unfolding so far. As Congressional Democrats and Republicans remain deadlocked over the broader stimulus relief plan, stimulus checks are stalled because of the general lack of agreement over other things. As a result, different proposals have been presented to give you $1,200 or $4,000 one-time payments, and there’s also a proposal for $2,000 a month.
The most likely amount would be $1,200 or $3,400 for a family of four if you meet income guidelines. You could also expect to receive more than last time if you have dependents – and if a stimulus check plan gets approved. That’s because both sides have indicated they generally agree that a second round of stimulus checks that would follow the same general amounts as the first round. They also both want to give people more money for adult dependents than last time to fix the issue that a lot of college students got left out the last time around.
That’s why a family of four would get $3,400 — at least under the Republican plan. Republicans control the Senate, so their stance on the amount matters. The $3,400 would factor in $500 for each dependent on top of the $1,200 per adult. Democrats put forth an even greater amount, but they don’t control the Senate. The Democrats’ HEROES Act, which passed in May, would give people $1,200 checks. However, it would also give people $1,200, not $500, for dependents, but cap it at three children, Intelligencer wrote.
On September 22, Democrats raised the prospect of more stimulus checks at a Congressional hearing. “The economic impact payments must be made because the rent must be paid,” said Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, according to CNBC. The Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, again said that the Trump administration supports a second round of checks, the network reported.
“We obviously can’t pass a bill in the Senate without bipartisan support,” Mnuchin said, according to CNBC. “Our job is to continue to work with Congress to try to get additional help to the American public.”
The problem is that there hasn’t been much movement on stimulus checks as Congress grapples with divisions over state and local aid amounts and the overarching price tag on the stimulus relief plan (they’re about $1 trillion apart).
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did try to get a “skinny bill” of targeted relief through on September 8, but it didn’t contain stimulus checks, and Democrats didn’t support it.
Here’s what you need to know:
The $4,000 Amount Came From a Compromise Plan Proposed by a Group of Republicans
What’s the $4,000 figure floating around? The $4,000 figure comes from a group of Republicans who proposed it as a compromise because they want to help families the post.
Thus, under their proposal, a family of four would get a one-time payment of $4,000 — $1,000 per person. Could this plan still pass? It’s possible it could be resurrected, although there hasn’t been much talk about it lately.
That plan was made in July by Republican senators including Mitt Romney, who proposed the compromise plan.
For his part, President Donald Trump has repeatedly supported the concept of a second stimulus check, but he can’t get them through on his own because Congress has funding authority per the U.S. Constitution. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows previously sounded optimistic 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. So far leaders haven’t been able to reach agreement though.
“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.”
For her part, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been harshly critical of Republicans, blaming them for not giving Americans the broader relief they need.
The $2,000 Per Month Amount Came From a Group of Democrats, Including Joe Biden’s Running Mate
The $2,000-per-month figure comes from a group of Democrats. However, don’t count on this plan going through. That’s because, with the election looming, there’s now a political calculus to all of this.
One of the people proposing this figure is Joe Biden‘s vice presidential running mate Kamala Harris, so it would be tough to see Republicans in the Senate giving her that victory with election day so close by. Some Republican Senators, most notably Rand Paul, have also expressed concern about spending, so Mitch McConnell needs to keep those dissenters in mind.
Harris proposed that amount with Senators Bernie Sanders and Ed Markey. The Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act would give Americans $2,000 checks every month until three months after the COVID-19 pandemic ends.
“The coronavirus pandemic has caused millions to struggle to pay the bills or feed their families,” said Senator Harris in a press release. “The CARES Act gave Americans an important one-time payment, but it’s clear that wasn’t nearly enough to meet the needs of this historic crisis. Bills will continue to come in every single month during the pandemic and so should help from government. The Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act will ensure families have the resources they need to make ends meet. I am eager to continue working with Senators Sanders and Markey as we push to pass this bill immediately.”