Congress still may be far off from a deal regarding the next stimulus package, but hope for a second stimulus check before the end of 2020 hasn’t completely disappeared. Although Democrats and Republicans seem unable to agree on much, stimulus payments remain the one aspect that has maintained bipartisan support.
Although Congress was scheduled for a summer recess, and the Senate is still scheduled to take that recess before returning to Capitol Hill on Tuesday. Aug. 8, the House of Representatives will be getting back to work much sooner. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called for the House to reconvene early to vote on legislation to fund the U.S. Postal Service. At that time, Senate Republicans are expected to introduce a slimmer bill that, among other things, will include funding for USPS. Although it doesn’t appear at this time that this "skinny" bill will include an additional round of direct payments, CNET points out that they can’t be entirely ruled out, as the bill hasn't yet been released.
Lawmakers are facing growing pressure from the American people to include stimulus payments in any further relief legislation. A Change.org petition with more than 66,000 signatures has even demanded that President Donald Trump push for such payments. That petition cites the “unprecedented financial hardship” the American people are facing as a result of the pandemic.
Should stimulus payments be included in any new legislation to arise in the coming days, it could possibly be passed within just a few weeks. After Congress missed the initial Aug. 7 deadline to pass the HEALS Act, the GOP's proposal, a new deadline arose, with many suggesting the end of September being the goal.
Although no firm timeline has been given regarding just how quickly payments could be distributed, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has suggested on numerous occasions that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) would be able to begin sending payments almost immediately. This means that after a bill is approved by both the House and Senate and is then signed by Trump, stimulus checks could begin being distributed in late September or in October. At this time, however, it remains unclear if Congress will move to pass an additional round of payments, the current focus seeming to be on funding the USPS in preparation for the November election.