With millions of Americans still out of work amid the coronavirus pandemic, financial help is on the way. Following months of back and forth comments and lingering hope from the American people, Congress has reportedly agreed to include a second round of stimulus checks in the next relief package.
Such news was confirmed Tuesday by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who told reporters that "we do envision direct checks again," according to BuzzFeed News. On Monday, as congressional leaders returned to Capitol Hill, McConnell met with Republicans to draft the next relief package. Although once met with mixed opinions, stimulus checks, he said, have "fairly significant support" in his caucus.
Another round of direct payments to the American people have long been supported by Democrats, who, in the months since President Donald Trump signed the CARES Act, have proposed several new bills that include further economic impact payments. While those bills feature differing figures, with some suggesting that monthly payments of up to $2,000 be sent to Americans for the duration of the pandemic, the HEROES Act is the only one to have passed the House at this time. It has proven to be controversial, and Republicans have considered it dead upon arrival in the Senate.
While it seems more promising Americans will receive another round of payments, much about those payments remain unclear, including how much they will be and who will be eligible. Under the CARES Act, single filers with an adjusted gross income (AGI) under $75,000 and those who filed jointly with an AGI of $150,000 or less received $1,200. That number phased out at a certain income level. Although President Donald Trump has previously stated that he supports figures higher than the ones being proposed by Democrats, suggesting that he would prefer to see payments totaling more than $1,200, the desire to keep the relief package at around $1 trillion could mean that the most likely amount is $1,200.
That same desire could result in limited eligibility. While most American households qualified for a stimulus payment under the CARES Act, McConnell himself has admitted to considering providing further limitations, such as an income cap of $40,000. It is unclear if that income cap, which would result in tens of millions of Americans missing out on a payment, will be put in place.
Should stimulus payments actually be included in the next bill, and should it be passed and then signed by the president before Congress' upcoming recess beginning early next month, it is possible that payments could begin being distributed in August. The IRS has already created a tool, called the Get My Payment tool, that allows Americans to track their payments and also enter their banking information to receive their payouts via direct deposit, which is faster than receiving a physical check in the mail.