Now that the negotiations over a proposed second stimulus package have bottomed out, there's a lingering question over when (or if) another payment will be issued via the GOP-proposed HEALS Act. While it's unlikely for anything to happen before September, there is some likelihood of getting a $1,200 check, or more, in some cases.
"We will have our regular pro forma meetings through the end of the state work period," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced on Thurdsay. "If the Speaker of the House and the Minority Leader of the Senate decide to finally let another package move forward… it would take bipartisan consent to meet for legislative business sooner than scheduled." He then added that he hoped the Senate would be able to "act sometime soon." The Senate was initially slated to adjourn on Aug. 7 but stayed in session while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer had been negotiation with members of the Trump administration. The House had previously adjourned as scheduled.
Despite the grim outlook, CNET noted that it is possible for eligible recipients to get more than the $1,200. Here's a rundown of what those could look like.
The HEALS Act
The proposed HEALS Act mirrored the CARES Act, providing $1,200 for recipients plus $500 per dependent. However, the HEALS Act doesn't cap dependents at 17-years-old, which means that a single person with four dependents could get up to $4,400.prevnext
The HEROES Act
The HEROES Act, which was passed by the House in May, would allot a $1,200 payment to each eligible individual, along with $1,200 for each dependent, up to three, totally out at $3,600. Despite being sent to the Senate for a vote, the bill was deemed "dead in the water" by McConnell. However, there had been vocal calls to bring it to a vote, though that's unlikely.prevnext
President Donald Trump, who has previously advocated for an executive order to bypass Congress did sign one, though it's unclear if it will actually result in stimulus payments. The order does call to temporarily extend, renew or introduce economic relief measures that he believes will help the U.S. economy stay afloat amid the coronavirus pandemic. Given that Trump's repeated calls for "larger" stimulus checks than the CARES Act provided, it's possible that could come to fruition.prevnext
A New Stimulus
The big issue here is, of course, the Senate has officially adjourned until Sept. 8. However, McConnell seemed to imply talks could continue, given Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was the only Senator at the table, along with Pelosi, who were facing off against Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. The latter, however, is currently on vacation, which had already ground negotiations to a halt.
While unlikely, if negotiations do resume, a new agreement could be reached. McConnell has also floated the idea of passing aspects of a stimulus package in smaller bills, which could include stimulus checks.prevnext
While negotiations officially coming to a halt (at least for now) hasn't sat well with financially-strapped constituents, a number of GOP lawmakers are welcoming the news. Sen. Ted Cruz has mocked the idea, while Sen. Ron Johnson told Breitbart that he hopes the talks remain broken down.prevnext