While the second round of stimulus checks is all a specific part of the GOP's proposed relief package currently being discussed on Capitol Hill, there is still no telling when payments could begin being distributed to the American people. Although millions of Americans are currently out of work because of the coronavirus pandemic, sparking the immediate need for financial relief, tensions among members of the GOP could possibly push back disbursement, meaning Americans may have to wait longer than under the first round of payments.
According to the Washington Post, just a day after Congress reconvened on Capitol Hill on Monday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow met with Senate Republicans to discuss the fifth relief package, particularly the topic of payroll tax cuts. President Donald Trump is a proponent of payroll tax cuts and has voiced his support to have such a measure included in the package. Other members of the GOP, who are wishing to keep the package at around $1 trillion, are not as supportive of such a tax cut as well as the president's claims that funding for coronavirus testing should be cut, and the meeting reportedly did not go well.
Speaking with The Wall Street Journal, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had confirmed such, stating that, "there are some differences of opinion on the question of the payroll-tax cut and whether that's the best way to go, and so we're still in discussion with the administration on that."
The lack of consensus among members of the GOP could prove detrimental to the general public, as it could delay the passing of any legislation. When asked about the relief package during his Tuesday press conference, the president had even threatened a delay, stating that he may not sign the next bill unless it includes a payroll tax cut, according to Fox 8. With Congress scheduled to enter another recess after Friday. Aug. 7, not expected to return until September, this means that additional direct payments to the American people could be delayed an unknown amount of time.
Although a timetable for any possible payments has not been revealed, it had been mainly believed that the second round of economic impact payments, if passed by Aug. 7, would start being distributed later that month. Such a timeline would be consistent with that of the CARES Act, which saw payments going out less than three weeks after it was signed by the president.