Second Stimulus Bill: 3 Factors That Determine the Next Possible Round of Checks

As lawmakers continue to discuss the possibility of further economic relief amid the coronavirus pandemic, they are weighing three important factors to determine if Americans will get a second stimulus check. The first round of economic impact payments, handed out under the $2 trillion CARES Act, was meant to provide a boost to financially insecure Americans and a crumbling economy, though debate has raged on whether or not further relief is necessary.

Among the many factors that lawmakers will take into account is the pandemic itself and whether or not there are renewed outbreaks in the country. As Forbes points out, the first round of stimulus checks had been supported "because of the immediacy and severity of the economic decline," which left millions of people without a steady paycheck. That decline was a direct result of the pandemic. While confirmed cases seemed to steady, prompting a phased reopening of the economy, renewed outbreaks in multiple states have prompted fears that the economy’s recovery will be slowed, potentially resulting in Americans needing more financial help. Over the past week, a number of states have recorded their highest number of new coronavirus in a single day, with the country as a whole also reaching the grim milestone.

Perhaps the largest factor in determining if a second round of stimulus checks is needed is the unemployment rate. As the coronavirus pandemic swept through the nation, many states implemented stay-at-home orders, with left many Americans seeking unemployment. In response to the record high unemployment numbers, stimulus checks were implemented to provide some much needed relief. Lawmakers will likely be looking closely at the June jobs report, which will be released on July 2. An uptick in unemployment numbers would add emphasis on the immediate need for further financial relief, while a lower unemployment rate could bolster arguments against another round of payouts.

Another major player in the game is the poll numbers. With the 2020 presidential election just around the corner, the president may pull out all the stops to give him an edge over Joe Biden and up his chances at re-election. According to Forbes reporter Andrew Solender, "a total of 19 polls of voters in swing states from four different pollsters were released Thursday, with former Vice President Joe Biden leading President Trump in every single one." The president, however, still out-polls Biden when it comes to the economy, which could become a central issue when it comes time for Americans to head to the polls. Citing sources familiar with the administration's internal deliberations, The Washington Post reported earlier this week that the president told aides he supported a second round of stimulus checks because he believes it will not only help the hurting economy, but also bolster his chances at re-election.