Second Stimulus Check: Who's Eligible for Round 2?

Senate Republicans may have been forced to delay the reveal of their proposed stimulus package due to ongoing discussions with the Trump administration, but that doesn't mean that nothing is known about what is included in the legislation. With the hottest topic on Capitol Hill and in households across the United States undoubtedly being a second round of stimulus checks, a few crucial details have emerged regarding the GOP's proposal, including stimulus check eligibility.

Announcing Thursday, just before the package was initially set to be unveiled, that the White House and Senate Republicans had reached a "fundamental agreement" on an initial legislative proposal, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin revealed that "our proposal is the exact same proposal as last time," referring to the March-approved CARES Act. Keeping this statement in mind, which could potentially change as negotiations continues and the bill makes its way through Congress, this means that essentially everyone who received a direct payment under the CARES Act would be eligible to receive a payment under the newest legislation, equaling out to approximately 160 million Americans, according to Newsweek.

Going by Mnuchin's remarks, and the provisions of the CARES Act, single taxpayers who earn less than $75,000 and married taxpayers who earn less than $150,000 would qualify for the full payment of $1,200 and $2,400. For single filers with an annual income exceeding $98,000 and married couples earning more than $199,000, the payments would phase out entirely. Additional $500 payments would also be allocated for each dependent child.

However, there has been discussion among some lawmakers to limit eligibility to keep the bill from exceeding the $1 trillion mark. In remarks made prior to Congress reconvening on Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had suggested capping the income eligibility level at $40,000 for single filers, or $80,000 for joint filers. Doing so would mean that roughly 60 million Americans would no longer be eligible for a direct payment, with CBS News reporting that the total number of Americans who would receive a stimulus check would drop from 165 million under the CARES Act to approximately 106 million under this new legislation. This suggestion, which was largely criticized by Democrats, however, has seemingly been abandoned if Mnuchin’s remarks are to be trusted and hold true as discussions continue.

At this time, Senate Republicans are continuing their discussions with the Trump administration regarding their proposal, which is now scheduled to be unveiled "early next week." After it is revealed, Republicans and Democrats will begin negotiations, and there will be less than two weeks for negotiations to conclude and for the bill to pass both the House and Senate before Congress enters another recess.