After the first round of economic stimulus checks were sent out mid-April, the U.S. government has distributed more than 120 million payments — the average total of which is $1,792 — to Americans amid the coronavirus pandemic, a Treasury spokeswoman told Yahoo! Money on Monday. The White House reports about 170 million Americans are eligible for the payment, leaving about 50 million people waiting on their money.
"Economic Impact Payments are being delivered to Americans in record time — the first 120 million payments delivered in less than three weeks," the Treasury spokeswoman told Yahoo!, noting that Social Security recipients are now starting to receive their payments either by direct deposit or by check, depending on the way in which they normally receive their benefits. You can track the status of your payment and add direct deposit information on the Internal Revenue Service website. People who are not usually required to file taxes can also provide the IRS with their information to get their stimulus payment here.
A second round of stimulus checks has been discussed in Congress, with Speaker Nancy Pelosi showing openness to providing a minimum guaranteed income to Americans amid the pandemic during an MSNBC interview Monday. "Let’s see what works, what is operational and what needs attention," she said. "Others have suggested a minimum income, a guaranteed income for people. Is that worthy of attention now? Perhaps so. Because there are many more people than just in small business and hired by small business ... that may need some assistance as well."
However, top GOP lawmakers have criticized the idea as pushing too far to the left. "It’s incredibly tone-deaf of Speaker Pelosi to continue using this crisis to push these radical socialist ideas that have been consistently rejected,” House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) said, as per The Hill. “What we should be focused on is responsibly implementing the relief packages we passed to get trillions of dollars directly into the hands of families and businesses so the American people have jobs and an economy to come back to when we finally reopen.”
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) echoed Scalise's comments, repeating a widely debunked conspiracy theory that the coronavirus outbreak originated from a lab in Wuhan, China: "The Speaker’s comments reaffirm that Republicans are the party of working Americans while Democrats prefer diminished productivity, hundreds of millions for illegal aliens, upgrades to the Kennedy Center and bailouts for states that made bad decisions before COVID-19 ever escaped the Wuhan Institute of Virology," he told The Hill.